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Victory for Dutch government over legal challenge to COVID curfew

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By Euronews  with AP
Dutch government wins appeal over overnight curfew
Dutch government wins appeal over overnight curfew   -   Copyright  afp

A Dutch appeals court has ruled in favour of the government over a controversial coronavirus curfew. It found the government was entitled to use an emergency law to introduce the measures forcing residents indoors from 9:00 pm to 4:30 am.

The verdict overturned an earlier decision that the government had overstepped its legal powers.

In a clear victory for the government over a group called Viruswaarheid — Virustruth — that opposes the lockdown, the appeals court also said that the 9 p.m.-4:30 a.m. curfew introduced on Jan. 23 was a proportional measure to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. However, the introduction of it sparked a series of riots and looting across the country.

The outcome will have little effect on the government's attempts to rein in the virus as it rushed fresh legislation through parliament to empower the curfew after a judge banned the measure, which sparked rioting when it was initially introduced.

Two days ago, the caretaker Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, extended the curfew to 15 March, but said some other restrictions would be eased.