Clashes as Dutch curfew starts; Germany tightens border checks

Madrid Desk, Jan 24 (efe-epa).- Dozens of people were arrested after isolated clashes with police on Saturday, the first night of curfew in the Netherlands, while thousands more were fined.

Germany on Sunday began enforcing tighter border restrictions for countries with high infection rates, including Spain, as Portugal broke another record for daily coronavirus deaths.


Dutch police arrested 25 people and fined 3,600 during the first night of curfew in the Netherlands.

While 80 percent of people who passed police checkpoints Saturday night had valid forms with a legitimate reason for being out between 9pm and 4.30 am, police said they issued “a substantial amount of fines” worth 95 euros for curfew violations.

The disturbances took place mainly at two points, in the municipality of Stein in Limburg and in the port area of Urk, a municipality in the province of Flevoland in the northwest of the country.

In Urk, tensions started after the curfew came into force, with dozens of people demonstrating against the measures by throwing fireworks and stones at police officers. Several police cars were damaged.

Protesters drove hundreds of vehicles honking horns and set fire to one of the points installed by the regional health board (GGD) to perform covid-19 screening PCRs.

“It has been a dramatic night. I am ashamed of what is happening. At this moment and as mayor, together with the police chief and the prosecutor, I have only one way: the emergency situation order with the deployment of riot police. We want peace and calm in Urk,” stressed the mayor, Cees van den Bos, early this morning.

The curfew that went into effect on Saturday night is the first mobility restriction imposed as a mandatory measure in the Netherlands since March last year. Until now social distance and isolation at home were a “recommendation” and people could still go out at any time without justifying their reasons.

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