Cannabis panic buyers had until 6pm before the government ordered the coffee shops to close (Picture: AFP)

Cannabis panic buyers were queueing round the block in the
Netherlands to stock up on weed before a nationwide shut down.

The Dutch government decided to lockdown the country on
Sunday to stop the spread of coronavirus, and it sparked an immediate response
from drug users.

Queues steadily formed outside the famous ‘coffee shops’ –
where cannabis can be legally bought – across the country. Some panic buyers waited
all day to get their hands on supplies to last them through a quarantine that could
last for weeks.

All marijuana coffee shops were ordered to close by 6pm on
Sunday, as part of comprehensive measures, which also affect saunas, sex clubs
and sport schools.

Long lines for the last supplies of cannabis in The Hague (Picture: AFP)
The queue went right around the block (Picture: AFP)
These cannabis users in Eindhoven did not want to go without during the quarantine (Picture: EPA/ANP)

The restrictions will remain in place until at least April
6, Education Minister Arie Slob said in a press conference.

Mr Slob said: ‘It has become clear that it was impossible for many schools to remain open, as many teachers were already sick at home and because of safety risks.

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‘Therefore we have decided to close all schools and daycare

The Government asked the country’s 17 million residents to
keep their distance when leaving the house.

A long lines form at a coffee shop in Eindhoven (Picture: EPA/ANP)
There was a very long line outside this coffee shop in Amsterdam (Picture: AP)
They were queueing well into the night in Amsterdam (Picture: AP)

Mr Slob added: ‘Do not hoard, it’s not necessary there is
enough to go around.’

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Cabinet had initially resisted closing schools but changed course after coming under pressure from educators and medical specialists.

A letter sent to parents in Amsterdam said Dutch medical
professionals had recommended schools be closed and plans were being drawn up
in the event the closures would last longer.

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said the number of infections had risen by 176 to 1,135 over the weekend.

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