Dutch police blast angry anti-lockdown protestors with water cannon in Amsterdam

Dutch police turned a water cannon on hundreds of anti-lockdown protestors who were taking part in a banned protest against the Dutch government and its tough coronavirus lockdown.

Police on horseback also moved in to break up the demonstration on a large square ringed by museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam municipality said riot police took action to disperse the crowd because people weren’t adhering to social distancing measures.

Few of the protestors wore masks, which are not mandatory, and most did not respect social distancing rules.

An anti-government demonstrator screams at a Dutch police officer during a protest to denounce ongoing restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic in Museumplein, Amsterdam, today

An anti-government demonstrator screams at a Dutch police officer during a protest to denounce ongoing restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic in Museumplein, Amsterdam, today

An anti-government demonstrator screams at a Dutch police officer during a protest to denounce ongoing restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic in Museumplein, Amsterdam, today

Hundreds of protestors not wearing face masks clash with Dutch riot police at an illegal protest against the Netherlands' new lockdown measures in Museumplein today

Hundreds of protestors not wearing face masks clash with Dutch riot police at an illegal protest against the Netherlands' new lockdown measures in Museumplein today

Hundreds of protestors not wearing face masks clash with Dutch riot police at an illegal protest against the Netherlands’ new lockdown measures in Museumplein today

Police on horseback ride through Amsterdam to before clashing with anti-lockdown protestors at an illegal demonstration at Museumplein today

Police on horseback ride through Amsterdam to before clashing with anti-lockdown protestors at an illegal demonstration at Museumplein today

Police on horseback ride through Amsterdam to before clashing with anti-lockdown protestors at an illegal demonstration at Museumplein today

Police turn a water cannon on demonstrators at the anti government protest on the Museumplein in Amsterdam today

Police turn a water cannon on demonstrators at the anti government protest on the Museumplein in Amsterdam today

Police turn a water cannon on demonstrators at the anti government protest on the Museumplein in Amsterdam today

Hundreds of protestors in breach of lockdown restrictions descended on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam today before the demonstrations turned violent

Hundreds of protestors in breach of lockdown restrictions descended on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam today before the demonstrations turned violent

Hundreds of protestors in breach of lockdown restrictions descended on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam today before the demonstrations turned violent

Anti-lockdown protestors walk through the square at Museumpein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, this afternoon as riot police stand guard

Anti-lockdown protestors walk through the square at Museumpein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, this afternoon as riot police stand guard

Anti-lockdown protestors walk through the square at Museumpein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, this afternoon as riot police stand guard

A bloodied anti-lockdown protestor with his face bandaged is helped by family members during the demonstrations in Amsterdam today

A bloodied anti-lockdown protestor with his face bandaged is helped by family members during the demonstrations in Amsterdam today

A bloodied anti-lockdown protestor with his face bandaged is helped by family members during the demonstrations in Amsterdam today

Riot police carrying batons line up as protestors gather in large groups in Westerpark after the anti0lockdown protest was moved from Museumplein

Riot police carrying batons line up as protestors gather in large groups in Westerpark after the anti0lockdown protest was moved from Museumplein

Riot police carrying batons line up as protestors gather in large groups in Westerpark after the anti0lockdown protest was moved from Museumplein

Protesters clash with riot police during the anti government protest on the Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protesters clash with riot police during the anti government protest on the Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protesters clash with riot police during the anti government protest on the Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today 

Anti-lockdown protestors surround a riot police van on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Anti-lockdown protestors surround a riot police van on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Anti-lockdown protestors surround a riot police van on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

The municipality said: ‘Because of the danger to public health, it is important that everybody sticks to the measures in force. The demonstrators are not doing that.’

By mid-afternoon, the square was empty apart from dozens of police, although some protesters remained in streets nearby.

The demonstration had been banned earlier in the week because of fears that too many people would attend and not stick to social distancing.

The protest in Amsterdam happened as ministers in the Netherlands’ caretaker government were meeting in The Hague to discuss options to rein in the spread of the coronavirus, including the possibility of imposing a curfew for the first time since the pandemic began.

Few of the protestors wore masks, which are not mandatory, and most did not respect social distancing rules

Few of the protestors wore masks, which are not mandatory, and most did not respect social distancing rules

Few of the protestors wore masks, which are not mandatory, and most did not respect social distancing rules 

Protestors climb on to a police bus during the anti-lockdown demonstration in Verzet, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protestors climb on to a police bus during the anti-lockdown demonstration in Verzet, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protestors climb on to a police bus during the anti-lockdown demonstration in Verzet, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Demonstrators charge and scream at riot police at an anti-lockdown protest in Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Demonstrators charge and scream at riot police at an anti-lockdown protest in Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Demonstrators charge and scream at riot police at an anti-lockdown protest in Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protestors film as riot police move in on the illegal anti-lockdown protest at Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protestors film as riot police move in on the illegal anti-lockdown protest at Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Protestors film as riot police move in on the illegal anti-lockdown protest at Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Dutch riot police stand near anti-government activists  at the illegal, anti-lockdown demonstration in Museumplein, Amsterdam

Dutch riot police stand near anti-government activists  at the illegal, anti-lockdown demonstration in Museumplein, Amsterdam

Dutch riot police stand near anti-government activists  at the illegal, anti-lockdown demonstration in Museumplein, Amsterdam

A protestor shouts at riot police carrying shields and batons on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

A protestor shouts at riot police carrying shields and batons on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

A protestor shouts at riot police carrying shields and batons on the Museumplein town square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today

Amsterdam municipality said riot police took action to disperse the crowd because people weren't adhering to social distancing measures

Amsterdam municipality said riot police took action to disperse the crowd because people weren't adhering to social distancing measures

Amsterdam municipality said riot police took action to disperse the crowd because people weren’t adhering to social distancing measures

The government resigned Friday following publication of a damning report into a scandal involving thousands of parents being falsely labeled fraudsters by tax officials, but the ministers are remaining in power until a new coalition is formed following a March 17 general election.

The government closed schools and most shops in December to try to stem a surge in Covid-19 cases and this week extended the lockdown by at least three more weeks.

In the early days of the pandemic, the Netherlands was generally more reluctant than most of its neighbours to impose social restrictions. 

But during the second wave of infections in winter it has found its hand forced by the rapid spread of infections and growing pressure on its hospitals.

What are the new lockdown restrictions in the Netherlands? 

The Dutch government voted to extend its current lockdown by three more weeks on Tuesday and ministers met this week to discuss imposing a curfew for the first time since the pandemic began. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte extended his country’s tough five-week lockdown amid concerns that infection rates are not falling quickly enough and fears about the new more transmissible variant.

Under the lockdown, all schools and nonessential shops are closed, along with public venues such as cinemas, museums and libraries. There also are strict limits on the size of gatherings both indoors and outside.

The lockdown restrictions require people: 

  • Stay at home. You should only go outside to buy essentials, to get some fresh air, to walk the dog, to go to work if you cannot work from home or to provide essential informal care or support.
  • Only receive visitors at home if this is absolutely necessary. If you decide to have visitors, you are urgently advised to receive no more than 2 visitors aged 13 or over.
  • Work from home. Only people whose presence is essential to operational processes and who cannot do their work from home can go to work.
  • Only go outside with members of your household, on your own or with 1 other person.
  • Some locations are closed: shops (except those selling essentials like food); locations where contact-based professions are carried out, such as hairdressers, nail salons and sex establishments; theatres, concert halls, cinemas, casinos, zoos, amusement parks, indoor sports facilities, gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas, restaurants and cafes
  • Hotels are open, but hotel restaurants are closed and room service is not available.
  • Adults can exercise alone or with one other person, and only outside. Children aged 17 and under may take part in team sports and play matches against children at the same club, but only outside.
  • Use public transport for essential travel only.
  • Do not travel abroad and do not books trips abroad until 31 March.
  • Only medical professionals and allied health professionals may carry out work that involves close contact with clients or patients.

‘Almost everybody will understand that there was no other choice, because numbers are not falling fast enough and we are now also have to face the threat of the British virus variant,’ Rutte said.

Confirmed new Covid-19 infections in the Netherlands over the last week fell 12 per cent to 49,398, the Dutch public health institute said Tuesday. 

Hospital admissions for virus patients fell 18 per cent and new Covid-19 patients in intensive care units declined by 12 per cent.

The overall Dutch death toll from Covid-19 now stands at more than 12,500.

 

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