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You're a dutch one, mr. grinch

Dutch announce Christmas lockdown to slow the spread of Omicron

The Dutch government announced Saturday that schools, universities, and all non-essential businesses must close until Jan. 14 starting Sunday, The Associated Press reports.

"The Netherlands is going into lockdown again from tomorrow," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Saturday night. He said the lockdown was necessary "because of the fifth wave caused by the Omicron variant that is bearing down on us."

According to BBC, the prime minister said he made the announcement in a "somber mood." Under this new lockdown, Dutch citizens will be allowed to receive only two visitors per day. On Christmas and New Year's, they will be allowed four.

Ireland, France, Denmark, Cyprus, and Austria have also tightened restrictions.

Even the U.S. may be facing down a Christmas season that, according to many public health officials, ought to be something less than maximally holly jolly. Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a Friday appearance on CNBC's Sqwalk Box that if "the counts keep going up and the test positivity keeps going up, we may need to be more restrictive."

For now, though, Fauci said we can feel "reasonably comfortable" at holiday gatherings as long as you are vaccinated, your family's vaccinated" and any friends you invite "are vaccinated and hopefully also boosted," The Daily Mail reported.