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Dutch prime minister extends his country’s pandemic lockdown

Fitness & Health:

The Dutch prime minister has extended his country’s tough coronavirus lockdown until the end of the month

The government also extended its call for people to avoid all but unavoidable foreign travel until April 15.

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In minor tweaks to the lockdown, Rutte said that from March 16 children up to the age of 12 will be allowed to resume swimming lessons and adults will be allowed to play sports together outdoors in groups of no more than four people, up from the current two.

Polls have shown support for the coronavirus lockdown eroding in recent weeks as this nation of 17 million grows tired of shuttered cafes, restaurants, museums and other meeting places.

A group representing nonfood retailers across the country went to court Monday seeking an order allowing them to reopen to the public. And on Tuesday the country’s umbrella organization for the hospitality industry is launching separate legal proceedings over delays in the payment of government support to businesses hit by the lockdown.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that if infection numbers remain stable or decline, the government will consider reopening cafes’ outdoor terraces and further opening nonessential shops from March 31, under strict conditions.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Netherlands rose over the past two weeks from 23.08 new cases per 100,000 people on Feb. 21 to 26.42 on March 7. Nearly 16,000 people are confirmed to have died of COVID-19 in the country.

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