Amsterdam cancels the end of the year celebrations due to the increase in covid infections

  • The Institute of Public Health reports 19,274 new infections in 24 hours, some positive that represent 19.2% of all the tests that are carried out

The municipality of Amsterdam has canceled this monday all New Years Eve celebrations organized by the city council, including national countdown and fireworks shows, due to the “bleak” outlook left by the high rate of daily infections and hospitalizations.

Mayor Femke Halsema decided to suppress both the central celebration in Museumplein, where the national countdown to the start of the new year is called, and the different musical and fireworks shows in the different districts of the city.

“Due to the rapid increase in the number of infections and hospital admissions, and the additional restrictions, the outlook is bleak. Since it is very uncertain how things will go, and we already have to make significant investments for these shows, it is not responsible to continue with the preparations, “argues the city council.

The fireworks shows organized by the municipality sought to be an alternative to the pyrotechnics used individually by citizens, which is prohibited as of this year.

Contagions triggered

Contagions in the Netherlands they have shot since the Dutch government decided to end social distancing at the end of September in exchange for the use of the covid pass.

This Monday, the Institute of Public Health (RIVM) reported 19,274 new infections in 24 hours, breaking a previous record in nearly 3,000 new cases moreover, some positives that represent 19.2% of all the tests that are being carried out.

The positives documented in the last few hours also include some test results carried out over the weekend, which were delayed due to technical problems, although problems also arose this Monday because the test centers in large cities ran out of capacity for new appointments.

Stagnant vaccination

Meanwhile, the rate of vaccination in the Netherlands remains stagnant. 82.4% of those over 12 years of age already have the complete schedule, and 85.9% have at least one dose, although it is believed that around 13% of the population do not plan to be vaccinated at the moment for reasons that vary from skepticism towards vaccine safety to religious motives.

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The Government has already limited the participation in social life of those who have not been vaccinated or those who have not passed COVID-19, and are currently requiring them to undergo a test to be able to access the hotel industry, cultural and musical events, gyms or the swimming pools, among other places of public access.

However, this approach does not seem to be working when it comes to reducing hospital pressure and the increase in infections, so the Executive is trying to bet on the 2G policy, which involves granting a valid covid pass only to those people with full agenda or who have recovered from the illness caused by the coronavirus.

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