THE HAGUE - Dutch police on Saturday broke up a rave party in breach of COVID rules that was attended by hundreds in a disused factory, local media reported.
Dozens of police officers entered the makeshift venue in the central town of Rijswijk with hundreds more mobilized to shepherd people away, NOS television said.
Several partygoers were arrested but there was no violence, according to local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland.
The illegal rave attracted people from far and wide with locals saying they had seen vehicles come in from France and Germany but also as far away as Spain and Italy.
"It is an illegal party so it is banned," tweeted local mayor Josan Meijers.
"It is not appropriate at a time of the coronavirus crisis. (Health) measures apply to everybody," added Meijers.
With virus cases spiking amid the rise of the omicron COVID-19, the Netherlands imposed a new raft of restrictions a week before Christmas with all non-essential bars and shops closed until Jan. 14.
With the exception of burials, only two people are allowed to gather outside from different households until then.
Despite a nationwide ban on New Year fireworks, a number went ahead regardless, with one 12-year-old child killed and another seriously injured in an accident at one event.
In France, police moved in to book revellers attending an illegal rave which attracted some 1,500 people overnight to the small central eastern town of Saint-Florentin some two hours drive from Paris.
A local prefecture source said police had secured the site and were carrying out drugs tests, adding the local prosecutor's office was investigating.