Once again, in the Netherlands, the weekend was a scene of protests. The streets of Amsterdam were, according to The Associated Press, crowded with thousands of people. TrialSite received videos of the protests that confirmed large crowd sizes. The demonstrators were protesting the Dutch government’s lockdown measures even though there was a ban on demonstrations in the city. Under the government rules, all non-essential shops have been closed along with bars, restaurants, museums, theaters, and cinemas. The lockdown was first introduced in November and then restrictions were tightened during the recent holidays.

TrialSite News first reported on protests in Europe when they happened in November. And, like the initial demonstration of two months ago, the protests in Amsterdam once again were marred by small incidents of violence. Before the protests, local authorities issued warnings of potential clashes with police. The protestors were told to disperse before the riot squad moved in and, in response, banners were unfurled saying: “Less Repression, More Care” and “It’s not about the virus, it’s about control”.  There were even some “Trump 2024” banners. Unlike previous protests, this demonstration was the only one reported in Europe.

What’s interesting here is, according to AP, coronavirus rates have been gradually dropping for weeks in the Netherlands. The seven-day rolling average of cases has edged lower with 85.55 cases per 100,000 even with the omicron variant now the nation’s dominant strain. But a review of cases currently reveals they are still on the upswing. 

The new COVID-19 variant has also affected travel both in Europe and the United States. New York Times article written before the holiday travel crush warned vacationers to “pack as if you’re going to get stuck.” This was a warning in case a vacationer tested positive for COVID-19 in a foreign destination. The chances of contracting covid are heightened due to the transmissibility of omicron. The article went on to say Traveler’s Insurance should now be considered if you’re booking an airline ticket.

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