Dutch bars and restaurants hurried to stock up on supplies on Tuesday as the government was expected to announce they could reopen the next day as part of a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is due to announce new easing measures at a 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) news conference, despite record new infection levels, as hospitalisations from the country’s Omicron wave have been lower than initially feared.

Rutte is expected to follow advice from his panel of health experts published on Monday supporting the limited reopening of bars, restaurants and theatres that have been closed since mid-December. Schools were reopened in an earlier easing decision on Jan. 10 and non-essential stores reopened on Jan. 15.

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