Dutch coronavirus curfew to remain despite the legal challenge

Photo: EPA Mark Rutte

A contentious curfew imposed last month by the Dutch government to reduce the spread of coronavirus will remain in place for the time being, as a legal challenge against the regulation is mounted, dpa reported. The Netherlands has been under a 9 pm to 4:30 am curfew since 23 January.

The restrictions have been unpopular and prompted several nights of rioting shortly after they were implemented. A protest group, whose name translates to "Truth about the Virus" filed a legal complaint seeking to have the curfew lifted. An administrative court agreed on Tuesday morning, ruling that no emergency situation exists and that the restrictions on movement are an unnecessary burden on people. It ordered the curfew be immediately lifted.

The Dutch government responded by launching an emergency appeal and asking that the lower court's ruling be suspended until the appeals case is heard in full on Friday.

On Tuesday night, a court in The Hague agreed to the government's request, meaning the curfew will stay in place until the appeal is decided. PM Mark Rutte welcomed the decision. Earlier he had urged citizens to observe the curfew, whatever the outcome of the appeal. He said the curfew was urgently needed to stop the spread of the much more contagious British variant of the virus. The Dutch government has argued it had the right to implement the curfew because of emergency laws passed by the legislature giving it powers to act unilaterally. But, aside from stating there is no emergency, the administrative court argued that the restrictions place too many limits on the right to personal movement and interfere too heavily with individual's personal situation.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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