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Some restaurants in the Netherlands have reopened despite current Covid restrictions, in a refusal to wait for the Dutch Prime Minister’s announcement, expected later on Friday, on whether to ease the month-long lockdown.

In an act of defiance against the government’s strict restrictions on Covid-19, which were imposed in mid-December, restaurants in the Dutch town of Valkenburg reopened on Friday with support from the local mayor.

Dirk Beljaarts, chief executive of KHN, an organization that represents the hospitality industry, said it was not so much about being rebellious but about surviving after 22 difficult months for businesses due to the pandemic.

Establishments in 15 other municipalities said they would follow suit and open on Saturday, regardless of the government’s announcement on Friday night.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is due to speak later Friday. According to the national broadcaster NOS, restaurants and bars must be excluded from the initial plan to reopen the economy.

NOS reported that most stores, hairdressers and gyms will be allowed to reopen.

Government plans “Are clearly unacceptable to us, because there is no solid argument for it”, Beljaarts said, reacting to speculation. He urged the state to take a more relaxed approach, similar to that taken in the UK, where the number of cases has fallen over the past week.

Infection rates continue to rise in the Netherlands despite the restrictions. The country recorded a daily national record of more than 35,000 cases on Friday.

A survey by Hart van Nederland suggests that the majority of the Dutch population is in favor of reopening restaurants.

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