A new lockdown has started in the Netherlands – with just essential shops still open and many other business and institutions closed until the middle of January.

This lockdown is due to the faster than expected spread of the Omicron variant.

Rob and Roy discuss this news story and teach you some related vocabulary so you can talk about it too.

Video chapters:
0:00​​​​​​​​​​ – Introduction
0:32 – Story
1:32 – Headline 1: Netherlands enters strict Christmas lockdown to stem Omicron
4:15 – Headline 2: Netherlands reimposes strict lockdown and UK won’t rule out new measures over Omicron
7:10 – Headline 3: Belgian lockdown ‘not on the table yet’, says Walloon health minister
9:28 – Summary

Key words and phrases:

stop something from increasing

  • The government wants to stem the rise of protests in the city.
  • The management want to stem any more financial losses for the company.

rule out
say something is not a possibility

  • She ruled herself out of the running for the top job.
  • They decided to rule out selling the house this year, as they couldn’t afford to move.

on the table
available for consideration

  • Offering to sell her shares in the business was not on the table.
  • Every option was on the table to save the company from bankruptcy.

To download the audio and a transcript and test your understanding, go to our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview/unit-21/session-225

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