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Dutch propose curfew to rein in virus; will ban more flights

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The Dutch government says it wants to impose a curfew as part of beefed-up restrictions to rein in the spread of a new more contagious coronavirus variant that already accounts for at least one in every 10 Dutch infections

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government wants to impose a curfew as part of beefed-up restrictions to rein in the spread of a new more contagious virus variant that already accounts for at least one in every 10 Dutch infections.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Wednesday that his government also will ban flights from the U.K., South Africa and South America beginning Saturday for a month.

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If parliament approves the curfew, the Netherlands would join other European Union countries that have told people to stay home after dark, including neighboring Belgium, France, Italy and parts of Germany.

The Netherlands has been in a tough lockdown for a month and will remain that way at least until at least Feb. 9, but the government says a slow decrease in the number of new infections and the threat posed by new variants have forced it to take tougher action.

The Netherlands has counted 13,264 deaths in the pandemic, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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