The Netherlands witnessed a 500 percent surge in COVID-19 cases in a matter of a single week. According to the government, most of the new cases were among 18 to 29-year-olds.
Removal of restrictions: The major cause?
The Dutch government lifted most of the COVID-19 restrictions across the country towards the end of June 2021. People were no longer required to wear face masks, follow night curfews, or maintain social distancing. The country’s hospitality industry took off again as restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs reopened at full capacity. However, now a little over two weeks, the country is facing an unprecedented magnitude of problems.
The number of COVID-19 cases exploded like never before and the country is struggling to backtrack and restart previously lifted restrictions. The sudden increase in cases of coronavirus has also put a large strain on the dutch medical and health care system. “What we thought would be possible, turned out not to be possible in practice. We had poor judgment, which we regret and for which we apologize,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Why is the surge in COVID-19 cases linked to nightlife?
The government has blamed the nightlife and increase in parties as to the reason behind this. After all, the main victims of this surge have been the youth. Over 1,000 cases were linked with a popular music fest in Utrech. According to a government report, the majority of the new cases are among 18 to 29-year-olds. The report notes a 262 percent rise in COVID-19 cases among the 18-24 age group. And, there is a 191 percent rise in cases among the 25-29 category. Moreover, as high as every four in ten cases have been linked with nightclubs and bars.
The country saw its all-time high in coronavirus cases within the week of relaxing restrictions. On July 1, the country had 806 positive cases. However, over 3,600 new infections were detected in a week. Additionally, the country saw an all-time high of 10,345 cases on July 10.