Netherlands Covid Regulations: Citizens in Uproar


Peter Dejong

photo courtesy of CNN

Josh Andrade and Ashlyn Lally

As Covid-19 continues its spread across the globe, people are taking sides on whether or not we should go into lockdown as well as if the vaccine should be mandated. Large groups of civilians in the Netherlands have recently incited protests, along with violence, taking the side of anti-lockdown. Riots have broken out, causing police to take serious action on the matter according to France24.

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema issued an ‘…emergency ordinance, empowering police to clear the central Museum Square, after the protesters violated a ban on holding public gatherings during the latest wave of coronavirus infections,” according to CNN. This is the reason why police had to use aggressive actions such as baton use in attempts to disperse the crowds.

“Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited under restrictions imposed by the Netherlands…” according to Reuters. In this case, on January 6th, thousands of people filled the streets. Yellow umbrellas are being held up as a sign that they do not agree with their current government’s policies regarding Covid-19. Police eventually became involved, using riot shields and batons to attempt to simmer down the situation. 

This widespread anti-restriction belief is followed strictly by a group “Netherlands in Resistance.” According to Euractiv, these protesters held riots in “several Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Emmen, and others.” Over 10,000 citizens have been attending these protests, representing their beliefs regarding the restrictions. Most of their signs said things such as, “Our government is against us,” and other bold statements about the situation. 

There has also been a great deal of violence at these ‘protests’, including five police officers being injured, along with at least 50 arrests. Police were being “pelted with stones and fireworks,” according to Aljazeera. Bicycles were also lit on fire, and a rock was thrown at an ambulance on the scene. The police then had to resort to coming in on horseback. 

All of this began because of the Netherlands re-implementing Covid-19 restrictions back in November. They also began to become more strict around this time of who comes in and out of the country, in order to help stop the spread. Their Covid rates started to heavily decrease in December from around 22,000 total cases to around to 12,000 new cases per day towards the end of the month. Now, just a week later on January 6th, it has skyrocketed back up to around 27,000 new cases on January 8th alone, according to the Reuters Covid-19 Tracker.

This uproar has caused the protests to turn into riots.  With police having to break up mass amounts of people in the streets of largely populated areas and cities. The country went into a strict lockdown on December 19th. With hopes of reopening most businesses sometime around January 14th according to Reuters. Officials are now unclear of the possibilities for reopening, considering the recent spike in cases just around the time of the protests.