Stay informed of the news about the corona virus at home and abroad here.

CBR will cancel 120,000 theoretical and 60,000 practical exams


CBR will cancel 120,000 theoretical and 60,000 practical

exams during the next five weeks.

In total, approximately 190,000 tests and courses will be canceled until the end of the hard lockdown on January 19.

Medical assessments for the renewal of driver's licenses will continue.

Everyone who should have an exam this week will receive a message from the CBR on Monday evening.

People then know that they do not have to come, a spokesperson says.

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Rijksmuseum expects 

a loss of 1 million euros per week due to the new corona measures Compared to the same period in 2019, the Rijksmuseum expects a loss of turnover of 1 million euros per week, the museum reports to

"The loss of turnover during the Christmas holidays in particular has hit hard," said a spokesman for the museum.

"Two thirds of the Rijksmuseum is dependent on its own income, consisting of visitor income and sponsors, funds, donors and friends. The visitor income is now again completely gone."


Photo: Erik Smits


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De Jonge: Vaccination and broader test policy must prevent third lockdown

With the arrival of the corona vaccine and an expansion of the test capacity, the cabinet wants to prevent the Netherlands from slipping into a third lockdown after 19 January.

Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) said in a press interview on Monday that the lockdown of the next five weeks will be "more bearable" with the perspective that the virus will be effectively combated in 2021.

Read on


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Employers: This is hard, ensure a good exit strategy

The lockdown announced by the cabinet is a hard blow for thousands of entrepreneurs, according to employers' organizations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland.

They therefore call on the government to prepare measures to keep the virus under control when the lockdown ends.

They are thinking, among other things, of testing students.

"This hurts a lot of entrepreneurs," say the employers.

"All the more so because they have made such an effort to arrange things properly in their business. With this lockdown, any chance to end the year in a somewhat positive way is gone."

Retailers are now left with large stocks that can no longer be sold at full price after the lockdown, say the interest groups.

The December period is the best time of the year for many sectors. 

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Catering industry association: Closure of hotel restaurants is symbolic politics

Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) describes the closure of restaurants in hotels in a press release as the "pinnacle of symbolic politics".

From Tuesday, hotels are not allowed to serve their guests food or drinks, including in the room via room service.

Until recently, hotels enjoyed an exceptional position and were allowed to serve overnight guests, while other restaurants and cafes had to close.

According to the trade association, hotels have a "duty of care" for their guests and they are already in dire financial straits.

According to KHN, few infections would also take place.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said during his speech that too many people stayed in hotels so that they could eat out there, "with all the associated risks".

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These are the measures of the new lockdown

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Central government website unreachable after Rutte speech

The central government website is currently unavailable.

The problems started shortly after Prime Minister Rutte's speech, who referred to the site for information.

Anyone who tries to visit will be presented with a constantly loading page on which nothing appears.

In addition to the front page, specific links to the site cannot be opened.





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With those words, followed by "thank you", Rutte concluded his speech.

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"I can imagine that you have questions. I refer to for that. What matters in the coming weeks is even more resilience. It sounds simple, but it is difficult. Continue to help each other and remain patient with each other and To everyone who are doing their utmost for all of us. Make it a beautiful and warm Christmas despite the limitations.

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"There is a long discussion about everything. These are all understandable questions and arguments. If the figures had fallen in recent weeks, we would have wondered that too. But that is not the situation, we do not have that luxury. The fewer contacts. The better We have to do everything we have to bite through this whole sour apple But it will get better There will come a time when our lives will get back to normal That is not in a week or a month With the vaccine 2021 will be a years of hope and light at the end of the tunnel. "

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"Work at home, unless there really is no other option. We see that this advice is being followed much less well than in the spring. We miss contact with colleagues, and yet we have to reduce the number of travel movements and contact moments. There are too many at work. many infections. To employers: give your people the opportunity to work from home. Public transport is only there for necessary journeys. "

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"The urgent advice is: stay at home as much as possible. No unnecessary trips. For unnecessary trips abroad: don't do that. This applies until mid-March. The risks and uncertainties are simply too great. Neighboring countries are becoming trips. to the Netherlands. "

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"All indoor sports locations will close, outdoor sports locations can remain open. Young people under the age of eighteen can continue to play sports as a team."

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"At home, there is no more than two guests per day, but we make an exception for Christmas. On December 24, 25 and 26, three remains the maximum.

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Rutte: "From tomorrow, all public locations will be closed: cinemas, theaters, casinos, zoos, etc. Hotels can remain open, without restaurant and room service. Libraries will close, books can be collected. Town halls and locations where funerals take place will remain open. Make contact professions We are a cut between medical and non-medical. Non-medical professions such as hairdressers have to close their doors again. "

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Rutte: "Only the shops for basic necessities of life will remain open: bakers, supermarkets, butchers, dry cleaners. Furniture stores, garden centers and electronics stores, among other things, will have to close their doors. For DIY stores it will continue to be possible to collect items, and stores will continue to be able to deliver. is a hard message for entrepreneurs, but given the busyness in shopping streets, it has to be done. There is a substantial support package to help entrepreneurs.

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Rutte: "Until January 18, distance education will become the norm. That is a drastic, but inevitable decision. Exceptions apply to students in the final year and students who need extra help. This also applies to children with parents with vital professions."

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Rutte: "We have no choice, the number of contacts must decrease. The measures will start tonight and apply until Tuesday, January 19. On January 12, Hugo de Jonge and I will tell how things are going after January 19. For schools, Wednesday is the starting date. "

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Rutte: "It is important that care remains accessible, that a bed is available. That is why I say to the care workers: thank you! A lot is asked of us all, but most of you. We all have great admiration for you. "

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Rutte: "We have to be alert to keep the virus at bay. The virus only needs to be lucky once to jump over. And the virus jumps, far too often. An average of sixty people die every day from corona. Every day. we note an average of 9,000 new infections. The figures are also rising in hospitals and nursing homes. Numbers are abstract and do not tell the whole story, but a million regular treatments in the hospital have now been postponed and people in care are running on their gums. not a harmless flu, but a virus that can hit anyone hard. "

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Rutte: "We see young people who have to put their plans for the future on hold. We see elderly people who are afraid of being ill. And we see the stress everywhere. Especially this year there is a need to sit around the Christmas tree together. I ask you to keep an eye out for people who are struggling around Christmas People who are sad or alone That will help us get through this miserable period That will certainly happen Because of the vaccine, but also our resilience. We find it difficult to keep to the rules everywhere and at all times. The vast majority of Dutch people are well aware that we have to protect each other. I see an incredible number of people who want to make the best of it and keep the courage. we all share something that is unprecedented in peacetime and yet we get through it. "

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Rutte: "Everything is aimed at keeping the number of contacts to a minimum. We all remember the images from the spring. Empty roads, schools and streets. I explain why we have to go back there. As a cabinet, we realize how intense this is. decision is made, certainly just before Christmas. 2020 is a year of mourning, loss and sorrow for many people. "

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Rutte: "When I gave a speech about corona for the first time almost nine months ago, I hoped that it would be the last immediately. Unfortunately, I have to address you again. Less than a week ago I said that we were a crossroads. The coronavirus is spreading even faster. That is why the Netherlands will be in lockdown for at least five weeks.

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Prime Minister Rutte is there, his speech is about to begin.

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In fifteen minutes, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will address the country from Het Torentje about the strengthening of the corona measures.

You can of course follow this via a livestream on, while you can read what the prime minister says in the live blog.

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First Americans vaccinated with corona vaccine

In the United States, the first people were vaccinated with a corona vaccine.

It concerns the means of the companies Pfizer and BioNTech.

The first shot was for a nurse at a Jewish medical center in New York.

The injection was broadcast live on television.

The US authorities recently gave the green light for the vaccine.

Then a huge distribution operation got underway to bring the vaccine to hospitals.

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has been administered in Great Britain since last week.

The countries of the European Union are still awaiting approval of the drug by the European authorities.

They want to give a definite answer about admission to the European market on 29 December.

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Top sports competitions also seem to be allowed to continue with the hard lockdown

The top sports competitions - including the Eredivisie in football - seem to be allowed to continue in the coming weeks, despite the hard lockdown until at least 19 January that the cabinet will announce tonight.

"The indication is that top sport can continue. The signals we are hearing about this are good", Ramses Braakman, chairman of the Dutch Basketball League (DBL), told

"But we too won't hear what exactly is going to happen until tonight."

Gert-Jan Swaving, the secretary of the Groningen basketball club Donar, also heard positive sounds from the NOC * NSF sports umbrella on Monday afternoon.

"They are not 100 percent sure, but the cabinet looks a lot to Germany and the professional competitions can also continue there during the lockdown."

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UK Government: Mutation Causes Rapid Spread in UK

A new variant of COVID-19 has been identified in the south of the UK, Health Minister Matt Hancock said, 

The Guardian said


This new variant may cause the virus to spread more quickly in the south-east of England, where about a thousand infections with this mutation have been detected.

According to the minister, there is nothing to indicate that this new variant leads to a more serious course of the disease. 

The new variant is being investigated and the WHO health organization has been notified.

It is still unclear whether the vaccine also works against this variant.

However, the minister emphasizes that according to medical experts it is "very unlikely" that the vaccine will not also work on this mutation.

The coronavirus is an RNA virus that mutates more often.

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prepare for peak activity

Dutch web

stores are


unprecedented crowds

if all non-essential stores have to close by order of the cabinet.

The branch organization, which represents approximately 80 percent of the market, says this afternoon that the shops "have a huge job ahead".

"Web shops must do everything possible to ensure that consumers receive their packages on time," says Wijnand Jongen, director of the trade association.

"The online spending will increase enormously. Purchases of stuff to survive and work at home are in addition to the enormous crowds that we already experience around the holidays," says Jongen.

The director expects that the majority of the parcels will be delivered on time, because most people will be at home and deliverers will be less bothered by traffic.

It is still uncertain whether the collection points for parcels in stores may remain open.

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Courts expect to remain open

The Dutch courts will remain open for the time being, despite the stricter measures announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday evening.

A stricter lockdown will not affect the judiciary, expects the spokeswoman for the Council for the Judiciary.

Courthouses have been made corona-resistant and designed to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.

There is also a duty of masking in the public areas of court buildings.

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The news of an imminent lockdown is causing crowds at the construction market in Delft.

(Photo: ANP)

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IKEA wants people to wonder if they really need to go to the store

IKEA home stores will no longer stay open Monday and the company


customers to ask themselves in advance whether they really need to come to the store today.

A spokesperson told about this.

"If people do decide to come, we ask them to do so well prepared and to visit the store in a targeted manner," said the spokesperson.

IKEA stores are open until 7:30 PM.

Some stores of other chains will remain open longer on Monday, now that they may have to close their doors from Tuesday.

“IKEA Netherlands supports and respects the decision that the government will most likely make. We are waiting to see what will be announced and what exactly that means for our store operation,” says IKEA.

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The mayor of Eindhoven also calls on people to stay away

John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven, just like other mayors, makes an appeal not to come shopping.

"Use your common sense. Stay away from the city center. Don't join the madness of getting all the stuff in before closing and infecting yourself. Buy those presents after January 19," said the mayor.

Monday afternoon in his city it is "very busy".

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Crowds can be seen on special maps

Maps of







among others 

, show 

several places where it is busier than usual.

Breda sends residents a WhatsApp message on request to show the crowds.

In many locations, crowds are measured on the basis of sensors that detect, for example, telephone signals or movements.

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Long queues at shops leading up to hard lockdown

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Mayors of several cities: stay away from the center

It has become so busy in the centers of several large cities that the mayors of Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and Utrecht are calling to stay away.

Many people want to do some quick shopping before the lockdown takes effect, but that means that the crowds in some places can no longer be controlled.

In Leiden, the intention is only to shop when it is really necessary.

"And come alone", says the municipality.

In Amsterdam it is also busier in some places.

People are called to leave when it gets too busy and they are also asked to wear a mouth mask.

John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven, says that it is very busy in his city.

"Use your common sense. Stay away from the city center. Don't join the madness of getting all the stuff in before closing and infecting yourself. Buy those presents after January 19," said the mayor.

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'People want a quick final haircut before lockdown'

There is a huge crowd at hairdressers across the country on Monday, the day before the closing of salons in connection with the tightened corona measures.

"There is a huge run on hairdressers, it is very busy today in our industry. You can see that hairdressers are extending opening hours and deploying extra staff," said a spokesman for trade association ANKO.

"We had already anticipated the reporting: opening hours were extended and online bookings opened. There is an enormous run on the agenda now," says Merel Venneman, General Manager of Provalliance Netherlands.

This includes about four hundred salons, including the Cosmo Hairstyling and Brainwash chains.

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Leiden and Rotterdam are also getting (too) busy

After The Hague, the municipalities of Leiden and Rotterdam are now also reporting that the city center is getting busier.

"Especially in the vicinity of the Binnenwegplein, Karel Doormanstraat and the Lijnbaan", says Rotterdam.

Measures are being taken to regulate crowds, it is said.

The municipality of Leiden calls on only coming to the city when it is really necessary.

"And come alone."

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De Jonge: virus gives full throttle, tough measures needed

The worrying corona figures are forcing the cabinet to "take firm action", says Corona Minister Hugo de Jonge after consultation at the Ministry of General Affairs.

Where, for example, the number of new hospital admissions initially declined too slowly, that number is now even increasing.

The effect of the spread on healthcare in particular makes it necessary to take strict measures, according to De Jonge.

He sees "a care that continues to be heavily burdened, which puts the accessibility of that care under pressure".

But the number of new infections that are added daily has also increased too quickly in the past week.

According to De Jonge, the virus is again "giving full throttle" instead of slowing down slowly.

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Number of patients in hospitals increased sharply

The number of corona

patients in hospitals has increased

sharply in the past 24 hours.

Hospitals are currently treating 1,872 patients for corona infection, 105 more than on Sunday.

Since last Thursday, the number of patients admitted has increased by more than two hundred.

The number of 1,872 corona patients admitted is the highest since 24 November, according to data from the National Coordination Center for Patient Distribution (LCPS).

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Rows at shops

In several cities, rows at shops have formed.

People are still trying to quickly buy before the closure.

(Photo: ANP)

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Municipality of The Hague: Too busy in the city center

The Municipality of The Hague warns that it has become too busy in the city center.

"Do your (Christmas) shopping online", they are asked.

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Aboutaleb: 'Vigorous intervention is needed'

Mayors in the Security Council find it evident and necessary that new, strict corona measures are introduced.

"We must now take firm action. We missed this exit a few months ago", said Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam prior to the consultation with the mayors of the 25 security regions.

Mayor Jan Hamming of Zaanstad calls the development of the virus "extremely worrisome" and Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake of Maastricht also agrees.

"We are yearning for a huge hammer," she says. 

According to the mayors, a stricter package of measures will lead to a reduction in enforcement.

Last weekend there were several disturbances in the city center in Maastricht.

"By doing good we get out faster", mayor Ahmed Marcouch van Arnhem sums it up.

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PostNL is looking at increasing capacity

PostNL is looking at whether the company's capacity can be increased, now that it may become even busier for parcel deliverers from Tuesday.

It is expected that much more will be ordered online if physical locations of stores are closed. 

"We are preparing for various scenarios, we have been doing that since the start of the corona crisis," says a PostNL spokesperson.

"We are the first to look at how we can continue to work safely."

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