Belgium and the Netherlands are the latest European countries to implement new COVID-19 restrictions as virus cases rise, The Associated Press reported Friday.
The Belgian government has reinforced past COVID-19 restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs and having restaurants and bars close at 11 p.m. for the next three weeks.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the country had been "hoodwinked by the delta variant," which spread rapidly and is the most dominant strain of the virus.
De Croo added that there are 25,000 daily new COVID-19 infections in the country, saying, "This is unprecedented in our country,” the AP reported.
The Dutch government is expected to announce an expansion of a partial lockdown that will be in place for two weeks as ICU bed admissions and cases rise in the country, according to the AP.
Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge said on Thursday that bars and restaurants that close at 8 p.m. could be shut down earlier due to the new measures.
“That we need measures — tough measures — is beyond doubt,” de Jonge said.
De Jonge said a panel of experts on its coronavirus policies advised the government on the new measures, the AP reported.