Netherlands proposes ban on flights, first curfew since WWII to combat coronavirus

Netherlands proposes ban on flights, first curfew since WWII to combat coronavirus
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The Netherlands proposed on Wednesday a new curfew and banning flights from South Africa, Britain and South America to the country in order to combat the coronavirus, according to a report from Reuters

The flight ban would extend to all South American countries and would take effect on Saturday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. Other countries have also banned flights from South America due to a new coronavirus strain coming out of Brazil. 

The curfew, if approved, would begin this weekend and would prohibit people from leaving their homes except for special circumstances between 8:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. Medical emergencies, essential workers and walking pets would remain an exception to the curfew. Those who violated the curfew would be fined 95 euros, according to Reuters.

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“This is a very tough measure, but we are at a crossroads,” Rutte said, according to Reuters. “The British variant doesn’t leave us with an alternative.”

The proposed move would need approval by the Netherlands' Parliament and, if enacted, would be the Dutch government’s first enforced curfew since WWII, according to Reuters. The measure would also be one of the strongest measures the Netherlands has taken to combat COVID-19.

The Netherlands' coronavirus cases have been on the decline in recent weeks, but officials are concerned that the case count could rise again due to the new strains of coronavirus emerging in Brazil, the United Kingdom and South Africa, according to the news outlet. 

International travelers were already required to have a negative coronavirus test 72 hours before traveling to the country, but now they would need proof of a second negative rapid COVID-19 test that would be taken before departure.

The United States has placed restrictions on international travel, requiring all travelers to get a negative test and quarantine upon arrival to the country.