Partial lockdown needed to bring down infections

Please note: this news item was published on 13 October. Read more about the current approach to tackling coronavirus in the Netherlands.

In recent weeks coronavirus has had too many opportunities to spread again. The government decided today that stricter measures are needed to bring down the number of infections. Our approach is to intervene in situations where the risk of transmitting the virus is greatest. We can do this by limiting travel movements and opportunities for people to come into contact with each other, helping people comply with the basic rules and enforcing compliance more strictly.

Tightening the measures will impact on our society and the economy more than we would like, but this step is needed to open up a new prospect: a society that has coronavirus under control. It is crucial that we maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people and keep following the basic rules. Anyone with symptoms should get tested, and those who test positive must stay at home. This will enable us to prevent the vast majority of infections.

Anticipating the virus

We want our interventions to be as targeted as possible. Unfortunately, the greater the number of infections, the more sweeping the measures have to be. We have developed a range of tools: testing policy, the Coronavirus Dashboard (with its four risk levels, clearly indicating what measures are needed at any given time), the CoronaMelder app to support source and contact-tracing efforts, and stricter legislation and enforcement. All these help us better track and anticipate the spread of the virus. And that means we can make rapid, targeted adjustments and combat the virus wherever it flares up.


The nationwide measures will go into effect at 22.00 on Wednesday 14 October. Between now and 27 October, the government will assess what measures are needed in the period after that. There needs to be sufficient evidence that the number of infections and the pressure on the regular healthcare system are declining before we can say with certainty that the measures are working and can therefore be reconsidered.

The measures


  • At home you may have no more than three visitors per day, excluding children under 13.
  • At indoor seated venues a maximum of 30 people applies.
  • Indoors and outdoors a group must have no more than 4 people from different households.
  • There is no maximum number of people for a household.

Daily life:

  • Work from home, unless this is really not possible.
  • If you are aged 13 or over, wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
  • In secondary and higher education institutions (VO, MBO and HO) everyone must wear a face mask outside lessons.
  • All establishments that serve food and drinks must close. Take-away will still be possible.
    • Exceptions are:
      • hotels for hotel guests
      • funeral locations
      • airports (after security)
  • Locations with a combined function must close the section that serves food and drinks.
  • Retail stores must close no later than 20.00. There will be no late-night shopping.
    • Grocery stores may stay open later.
  • No alcohol will be sold or delivered between 20.00 and 07.00.
  • Between 20.00 and 07.00 you may not drink alcohol or have it on your person in public spaces.
  • Coffee shops (cannabis cafés) may only provide a takeaway service and must close by 20.00.

  • Events are banned, with the exception of:
    • food markets
    • trade fairs and conferences
    • cinemas and theatres
    • matches or competitions
    • demonstrations, gatherings and meetings as referred to in the Public Assemblies Act
  • Agreements will be made in the retail sector for strict compliance with the protocols. If it becomes too busy or if the basic rules are not being observed, a location can be partly or fully closed. Enforcement will be stepped up.
  • At locations where there is a continuous flow of people (such as monuments, libraries and museums) visitors must reserve a time slot. This does not apply to retail stores and food markets.

Taking part in sports is allowed, subject to these restrictions:

  • Taking part in individual sports or in team sports with no more than 4 people in total is allowed for anyone aged 18 if they keep a distance of 1.5 metres. Matches and competitions are not permitted.
  • Exceptions are:
    • elite athletes with a status at assigned locations (such as Papendal);
    • footballers (incl. support staff in a ‘bubble’) in the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie. 
  • Taking part in team sports, including matches and competitions with teams within their own club, is allowed for children under 18.
  • In addition to sports canteens and clubhouses, showers and changing rooms will also remain closed.


  • Travel as little as possible.
  • Stay at your holiday address as much as possible.
  • Limited the number of outings and avoid busy places.
  • For travel abroad see the travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.