THE HAGUE, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- The new Dutch government on Friday lifted some of the current lockdown measures by reopening schools and non-essential stores.
The announcement was made by the newly-inaugurated fourth cabinet of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during their first press conference on COVID-19 in the Hague.
The new Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Ernst Kuipers, stood next to Rutte at the conference.
Primary and secondary schools had already re-opened on Jan. 10, and higher education institutions and universities will also be able to re-open.
In addition, all restrictions on sports have been lifted, although spectators are still not allowed.
Non-essential stores can open until 5 p.m. local time, and essential stores until 8 p.m. Contact professions such as hairdressers may go back to work, but cafes and restaurants must remain closed.
Amid fears over the spread of the Omicron variant in the country, the previous Dutch government imposed a lockdown on Dec. 19, 2021.