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The Netherlands has followed Denmark and put all its cinemas back into lockdown as part of new measures aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus.
The Dutch government announced the new measures, which took effect Sunday morning, in a bid to preempt an expected surge of COVID-19 cases as the new omicron variant of the virus spreads across the country.
The lockdown, which began at 5 a.m. local time Sunday morning and is set to run until Jan. 14, applies to all cultural institutions, as well as schools, universities and non-essential shops. The Netherlands had been under a COVID curfew, with cinemas and other institutions required to shut between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Ahead of the Dutch decision, the Danish government, citing a spike in COVID cases, closed all its cinemas until Jan. 17. Ireland, while keeping theaters open, has tightened restrictions, requiring cinemas to close by 8 pm.
Theaters in the rest of Europe, including the region’s largest territories of the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy, remain open. But with COVID cases rising across the continent, many fear more countries will soon introduce restrictions and lockdown measures. Last fall, a new wave of COVID-19 infections, pushed governments across Europe to shutter cinemas.
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