“Naturally, these measures will have negative economic consequences,” Rutte acknowledged at a news conference. “But allowing the virus to spread would have even more serious consequences, including for the economy,” the Dutch prime minister said.

From Tuesday, bars and restaurants will close at 22.00 local time. Companies were told to send their employees to work from home.

Travel between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague is not recommended. Stores are also required to deny access to customers who do not wear masks.

Sports events will be held behind closed doors for three weeks, and public meetings will be limited to people. Home meetings will be restricted to three guests.

The Netherlands is currently facing an increase in daily cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection to April levels, and hospitals warn that they will not cope soon. The total number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands stood at 114,540 on Tuesday, of which 6,380 were fatal.