COVID-19: Additional measures in schools, the hospitality sector and sport

On Sunday 15 March, the government took additional measures in its strategy to fight coronavirus. Schools and childcare centres will close their doors until Monday 6 April (inclusive). The same applies to bars, cafés and restaurants (not hotels), sports clubs and gyms.

At a press conference on Sunday, healthcare minister Bruno Bruins and primary and secondary education minister Arie Slob gave further information on these measures, based on the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The measures are as follows.

  • Primary and secondary schools, schools for secondary vocational education and childcare centres will close their doors from Monday 16 March to Monday 6 April (inclusive).
  • Schools and childcare centres will be open for the children of parents working in crucial sectors like healthcare, the police, public transport and the fire service, so that their parents can go to work. There will be no extra charge.
  • Teachers will organise distance learning for children at home, with priority for secondary school pupils and students in secondary vocational education preparing for their leaving examinations.
  • All bars, cafés and restaurants will close from 18.00 on Sunday 15 March until Monday 6 April (inclusive). Addition on 16 March, 16.00: Meal delivery and takeaway services will remain open. However, people are advised to avoid queues, stand well apart and eat their takeaway meal at home, not on the premises.
  • Sports clubs, gyms, saunas, sex clubs and coffee shops will close from 18.00 on Sunday 15 March until Monday 6 April (inclusive). Addition on 16 March, 18:40: Coffee shops can stay open for collection of orders.
  • Everyone in the Netherlands is requested to keep at least 1.5 metres’ distance from each other. This includes in shops, for example.

 All previous measures will be prolonged to Monday 6 April (inclusive).

Assistance for business owners

The government is taking various measures to help entrepreneurs whose businesses are threatened. The reduction in working hours scheme has been reintroduced, the Tax and Customs Administration may defer payment of taxes, while the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is expanding the SME loan guarantee scheme. This scheme enables business owners in for example the hospitality or travel sector, who face problems because they have had to close their business or because their customers are staying at home, to borrow money more easily. Business owners can ask for more information from the Chamber of Commerce’s advisory team.