Netherlands poised to tighten curbs to slow second COVID-19 wave

AMSTERDAM, Nov 3 (Reuters) - The Dutch government is expected to announce tighter lockdown measures later on Tuesday, including a recommendation that people avoid foreign end-of-year holidays.

Bars and restaurants were ordered to close for at least a month on Oct. 13 as the country imposed a partial lockdown to slow a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected announce in a televised press conference at 1800 GMT that museums, theatres, cinemas, zoos and amusement parks will also have to close, national news agency ANP reported, citing sources. The Netherlands joins Britain, France, Germany and several smaller European countries in tightening measures to fight the pandemic in recent weeks.

While the initial curbs appear to have slowed infections, the daily number of new cases in the Netherlands remains relatively high at more than 8,000.

Hospitals are near capacity due to a surge in COVID-19 patients, numbers of which are continuing to climb, and the government is under pressure to ease the strain on the healthcare system. (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)