Additional measures to combat the spread of coronavirus

Please note: this news item was published on 28 September. Read more about the current approach to tackling coronavirus in the Netherlands

During a national press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Hugo de Jonge announced new measures to reduce the amount of people coming into contact with one another. This is essential in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. These national measures will come into effect on Tuesday 29 September at 18.00 and will be in force for at least the next 3 weeks.

They aim to reduce the risk of overcrowding and limit the amount of people coming into contact with one another in social settings, without placing society and the economy into lockdown.

Rules indoors

  • Working from home will remain the norm, unless this is absolutely impossible. If an infection occurs at a place of work, the workplace in question can be closed down for 14 days.
  • You can host no more than 3 guests in your home, garden or on your balcony. This is in addition to members of your own household and does not include children under the age of 13.
  • In other buildings, no more than 4 people can form a group. This does not include children under the age of 13. This means that a single household or 4 people (maximum) – excluding children – can make a reservation at a cinema or restaurant.
  • The number of people in 1 room is limited to 30 people. This includes children under 13 but excludes staff.
  • Establishments serving food and drink can accept no new customers after 21.00 and must be closed by 22.00.
  • Sports clubhouses will be closed.
  • Indoor spaces with a continuous flow of visitors, such as historic buildings, libraries and museums must operate using reservations on the basis of time slots. This does not apply to retail stores and markets.

  • Those in contact-based professions must ask their customers to provide their contact details, in the same way that restaurants, bars and cafés do.

Rules outdoors

  • Numbers for outdoor activities where there is no continuous flow of people are limited to 40. This includes children under 13 but excludes staff.
  • Where there is a continuous flow of people, such as at zoos or markets, a maximum number of visitors per square metre applies.
  • Sports events – both amateur and professional – must be held without spectators.
  • The advice is to keep travel to a minimum.

Additional agreements

Additional agreements will be made with industry bodies to ensure strict compliance with the existing protocols.

Municipal health services (GGDs) will contact institutions offering care for older people to discuss additional measures, in order to ensure those who fall into an at-risk group are adequately protected. Such measures include personal protective equipment (PPE), tests, contact tracing and rules on visits.


Exceptions to the limit of 30 people (indoors) and 40 people (outdoors):

  • Funerals
  • Indoor gatherings that are necessary to ensure the continued daily operations of institutions, businesses and other organisations. These gatherings must not exceed 100 people
  • Demonstrations, gatherings and meetings as referred to in the Public Assemblies Act
  • People gathering to practise a religion or belief
  • Educational institutions, training institutions and childcare centres
  • Public transport and commercial passenger transport (but not pleasure boats)
  • Sports events
  • Youth groups for those aged 0 to 17 (e.g. Scouts, culture and art groups)
  • Airports
  • Meetings of the States General or of a related committee (in the relevant safety region), or meetings of a municipal council, provincial council and general board of a water authority, or of a committee set up by one of these bodies, and other gatherings required by law   
  • Meetings of international organisations established on the territory of the Kingdom, or of a party to a treaty to which the Kingdom is also a party
  • Spaces with a continuous flow of visitors, such as shops, markets, libraries, museums, zoos and amusement parks and funfairs can be exempted from the 30- or 40-person limit. 2 conditions apply in this regard

    • All shops will need to limit the number of shoppers to ensure they can remain 1.5 metres apart and supermarkets and other large food stores must introduce special shopping times for older customers and those in at-risk groups. This will be worked out in more detail by the retail sector. These rules apply from 5 October.

    • Safety regions will consult with individual venues where there is a constant flow of visitors to determine the maximum number of visitors permitted at one time, taking account of the size of the venue and the 1.5 metre rule. This does not apply to markets and retail stores.

Exception to limit of 30 people indoors in buildings deemed of major importance to a safety region

  • Safety regions can exempt buildings of major importance from the 30 person limit.

Exceptions to new limit on groups (maximum of 4 people)

  • Single households
  • Children under 13
  • People gathering to practise a religion or belief
  • Funerals
  • People taking part in theatre, dance or sport or performing music as a cultural activity
  • Professions, businesses or associations
  • Meetings or demonstrations in accordance with the Public Assemblies Act
  • Meetings of the States General, a municipal council, provincial council, general board of a water authority or related committees
  • Meetings of international organisations or treaty parties
  • Elections
  • Students or pupils in an educational setting

Exception to ban on entry after 21.00 and closure by 22.00

  • Airside restaurants, bars and cafés at airports

Exception to contact details requirement

This requirement does not apply to professions where providing contact details would hinder the performance of services or endanger the safety and wellbeing of those involved, such as care providers, enforcement officers and investigating officers.