The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, has indicated that crowded stores on Black Friday may have contributed to the recent increase in coronavirus cases in the Netherlands…
A partial lockdown with increased restrictions was put in place by the Dutch government on October 14th which resulted in a decline in the number of new Covid-19 cases throughout November (Wk 1= 43,621 / Wk 2= 37,706 / Wk 3= 36,931 / Wk 4= 33,949).
Black Friday was on November 27th and stores around the country were crowded with shoppers.
On Tuesday December 1st, a new government mandate came into effect requiring everyone (age 13 and over) in the country to wear a face mask inside all public buildings.
On Tuesday December 8th, the RIVM reported new coronavirus cases for December Week 1 (Dec 2-8) jumped to 43,103, a 27% increase from the week prior. Due to the 3-5 day lag time between infection and experiencing symptoms (the point at which most people would get tested), the December Week 1 data would be capturing people who became infected during the Black Friday time frame.
The Dutch parliament has expressed concern that an increase in the number of shoppers in stores as Christmas nears will spur a further increase in the number of coronavirus cases and that more restrictions may be needed.
We recommend avoiding shops as much as possible by shopping online instead. And, of course, always remember to wear a face mask when you do have to shop in person.