Working from home the norm once more and additional fresh air rule

Work from home unless it is impossible and ensure a good flow of fresh air indoors. This was the advice of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Hugo de Jonge on 19 July following the weekly meeting of members of the government to discuss the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, the number of infections is still high. The situation is serious and gives cause for concern, which is why the government is once again advising people to work from home unless this is impossible. Working from home is one of the ways we can combat the spread of coronavirus, since it limits contact between people.

The reintroduction of the advice to work from home had already been discussed during the debate on COVID-19 in the House of Representatives on 14 July. From today, this urgent advice comes into effect.

Ensure a good flow of fresh air

During the debate of 14 July, it was also agreed to add an additional basic rule: ensure a good flow of fresh air indoors. In certain circumstances, people can become infected with coronavirus through aerosols. A good flow of fresh air helps to limit the spread of the virus, so it is important to make sure the air is regularly replenished.

At home, keep a small window or trickle vent open and air rooms several times a day by opening doors and windows wide. In shops, restaurants and bars, at school, at work and other places where there are a lot of people, keep windows open. Or make sure that the ventilation system is set so that enough outdoor air flows into the building.

It is also important to  keep observing the other basic rules: wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres away from other people and, if you have symptoms, stay at home and get tested.

The advice to work from home and ensure a good flow of fresh air is in addition to the package of measures that came into force on Saturday 10 July.

Government meetings on COVID-19 during the summer recess

The government is officially in recess from 9 July to 8 August 2021. However, the ministers most closely involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to meet during that time. These ministers will, in principle, meet twice a week: in-person every Monday, after which they will give a short briefing to members of the press, and via a conference call on Wednesdays. But if the situation demands it, and decisions need to be taken, a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 will be called.

From 9 August, the government will go back to meeting several times a week to discuss the pandemic. On Friday 13 August, during the first cabinet meeting following the summer recess, the entire package of measures will be reassessed on the basis of the most recent information.