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Despite a call by authorities to stay home to avoid crowds, people flock to the city centres to get their last necessities before a severe lockdown is installed from Dec. 15 until Jan. 19. Photo: Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency via Getty

The Netherlands will enter a tough lockdown this week in one of Europe’s most restrictive attempts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised address Monday.

Why it matters: As COVID-19 continues to make a comeback in Europe, countries have taken measures to reduce travel and risk of contact ahead of the holiday season.

  • Cases in the Netherlands surged after Dec. 5 celebrations of Saint Nicholas’ birthday, despite the country's current partial lockdown, Reuters reported.
  • The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in The Netherlands has almost doubled from Nov. 29 to Dec. 13, per AP.

Details: Starting Tuesday, daycare centers, gyms, museums, zoos, cinemas, beauty salons and other nonessential businesses will close until at least Jan. 19.

  • Outside gatherings will be limited to two people, unless it's members of the same household.
  • The government is also urging residents to limit the number of guests to their home to no more than two people. The rules will be relaxed Dec. 24-27 when three guests will be allowed.
  • Schools must also switch to remote learning from Wednesday until at least Jan. 18.
  • Supermarkets, banks and pharmacies will stay open.

What he’s saying: “The Netherlands is closing down,” Rutte said in announcing the new measures, per Reuters.

  • “We realise the gravity of our decisions, right before Christmas,” he added as protesters banged pots and pans outside.
  • “We have to bite through this very sour apple before things get better."

The big picture: The Netherlands is the latest European country to implement strict measures.

  • Bars and restaurants in London and surrounding areas will be forced to close beginning Wednesday as the region is placed under England's highest alert for coronavirus restrictions.
  • Germany is also set to go into a strict lockdown this week, with all nonessential stores, services and schools forced to closed.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.