Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Riots in Holland over new curfew

A Covid-19 testing centre was set alight, an act the health minister called 'going beyond all limits'.

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Riot police in the Netherlands have clashed with protesters frustrated and furious over new coronavirus restrictions.

Some protesters looted supermarkets and smashed shop windows. More than 100 people have been arrested.

Officers used water cannon and tear gas to clear demonstrators in Eindhoven and there were smaller demonstrations in the capital, Amsterdam.

Protesters had gathered in defiance of a new 9pm to 4am curfew, enforced from Saturday, the first in the Netherlands since World War II.

Some of the demonstrators threw fireworks and grabbed bicycles to build barricades against the police.

A Covid-19 testing centre was set on fire on Saturday evening in the northern village of Urk, local authorities said.

“The fire in a screening centre goes beyond all limits,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

National Security Council Chairman Hubert Bruls said he understood people’s frustrations, but insisted: “If we persevere now, we will get our freedoms back sooner.”

The country’s bars and restaurants have been shut since October, and schools and non-essential shops closed last month.

A ban on flights from the UK, South Africa and South America has been put in place due to fears over new variants of the virus.

There have been more than 944,000 cases and 13,646 confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in the Netherlands.

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