AMSTERDAM. Five police officers were injured in the Netherlands and at least 28 people were detained in three provinces as violent protests against the COVID-19 restrictions continued the second night after Sunday.
Dutch authorities have used water cannons, dogs and mounted police to stop youth riots, who have set fireworks on fire and thrown fireworks in the worst riots since total isolation led to riots and more than 500 arrests in January.
The latest riots began Friday night in Rotterdam, when police opened fire on a crowd that swelled to hundreds in a protest that, according to the city’s mayor, turned into an “orgy of violence.”
Three people remained in the hospital on Sunday after allegedly being hit by police bullets, authorities said.
The protests were prompted by opposition to government plans to restrict the use of the national corona pass for people who have either recovered from COVID-19 or have been vaccinated, with the exception of those who test negative.
Last weekend, the Netherlands reintroduced some isolation measures against its 17.5 million population for the first three weeks to slow the virus resuming, but daily infections remained at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.
Young people also outraged the ban on New Year’s fireworks to avoid additional pressure on hospitals, which have already been forced to scale back medical care due to a sharp increase in the number of patients with COVID-19.
Some of the more serious clashes on Saturday night took place in The Hague, where five officers were injured, one of them seriously, police said in a statement. Police brought charges on horseback and arrested seven people, one of whom threw a stone at the windshield of a passing ambulance.
Another 13 arrests were reported by the police in two cities in the southern province of Limburg, and riots were also reported in the northern province of Flevoland. Eight people were detained in the city of Urk, where a COVID-19 testing station was set on fire earlier this year.