Social distancing mandatory as Dutch COVID infections spike

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The Dutch government is making social distancing mandatory again for all adults after coronavirus infection numbers hit a new weekly record

The policy “protects unvaccinated people against infection, illness and hospital admission in high-risk locations,” the government said.

But the government did not wait that long to bring back mandatory social distancing, which takes effect Wednesday for everybody 18 and over. The government already strongly advised people to stay 1.5 meters (5 feet) from one another; making it mandatory means businesses will have to enforce the measure and law enforcement can issue fines if people do not comply.

Children under 12 had the highest proportion of positive tests in the week up to Tuesday. The European Union’s drug regulator is expected to issue a decision later this week on a request by Pfizer and BioNTech to approve their COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

A panel of experts that advises the Dutch government urged people this week to improve basic virus-fighting measures such as social distancing and mask wearing, saying that many people are not adhering to a partial lockdown introduced more than a week ago.

A protest Friday against the COVID-19 pass system in Rotterdam degenerated into violence that led to police officers opening fire on rioters.

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Follow all AP stories on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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