Infection rate must go down: stricter rules to limit person-to-person contacts

The government is tightening up measures to combat the sharp increase in coronavirus infections and avoid putting further pressure on the overburdened healthcare sector. The virus is transmitted through contact between people, so additional measures are being introduced to reduce the number of contacts that people have on a day-to-day basis. This will protect everyone better, and people in at-risk groups in particular, against the virus, which is now extremely widespread. The aim is to enable people to go about their daily activities (school, work, sports, etc.) as much as possible during the day, but to restrict the number of contacts in the evening. These measures will enter into force at 18.00 on Saturday 13 November and apply until at least Saturday 4 December. The government will reassess the situation on Friday 3 December.

To enable society to reopen as fully and as safely as possible after these three weeks, while keeping the infection rate manageable, the government is working to make coronavirus entry passes mandatory by law in additional sectors and the workplace. Preparations are also being made to allow businesses to choose whether to apply a 2G or 3G entry policy. Parliament will have to approve any such legislation.

Short-term measures

  • Everyone must stay 1.5 metres from others in areas or venues where a coronavirus entry pass is not required.
  • Face masks are mandatory in areas or venues where a coronavirus entry pass is not required.
  • Businesses providing non-essential goods and services, such as clothes shops, contact-based services such as hair salons, and casinos must close at 18.00.
  • Food and drink venues and shops selling essential goods, such as supermarkets, pet shops and chemists, must close at 20.00.
  • Coronavirus entry passes and assigned seats are mandatory in food and drink venues.
  • Events must end at 18.00. Coronavirus entry passes and assigned seats are mandatory, and there is a limit of 1,250 visitors per space.
  • The mandatory closing time does not apply to artistic and cultural performances, for instance in cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
  • Spectators are not allowed at professional or amateur sports events. There are no further restrictions for sports.
  • People are advised to work from home unless that is impossible.
  • No more than four visitors are allowed in your home in a day.
  • If someone in your household tests positive for coronavirus, that person must self-isolate, and everyone else in the household must self-quarantine, whether they are vaccinated or not.
  • In secondary vocational (MBO) and higher education (HBO and universities), the maximum group size, not including staff, is 75 people per room. This does not apply to spaces where examinations are sat.

A complete overview of measures, conditions and exceptions can be found on the page 'Measures in brief'

Financial support will be available for businesses directly affected by these new coronavirus restrictions, such as retailers and food and drink venues. The government will provide more details about this support for businesses next week.

These new measures come on top of the measures that already apply, including the basic rules, mandatory face masks and the coronavirus entry pass system. Get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if you’re fully vaccinated.

Proposed longer-term measures

If we succeed in reversing the current trend in the weeks ahead and the number of positive cases falls, the government believes it will be possible to reopen society as fully and as safely as possible. We will then be able to roll out the coronavirus entry pass system more widely. Legislation is being drafted that will make coronavirus entry passes mandatory for most shops and for venues like zoos and amusement parks. The legislation will also allow employers to check coronavirus entry passes in the workplace. The government had already announced these legislative proposals last week. A new proposal is being added to these. The government wants to give businesses subject to the coronavirus entry pass system the ability to choose between a 3G door policy (proof of vaccination or recovery, or a negative test result) with assigned seating, and a 2G policy (proof of vaccination or recovery only) without assigned seating. This legislative proposal will be sent to parliament as soon as possible.

Vaccine booster campaign to begin sooner

The COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign is starting (in Dutch only) on Friday 19 November for people aged 80 and over who can come to a vaccination centre themselves, care home residents aged 18 and over, and healthcare workers who come into contact with patients. A booster is an extra dose of vaccine that people get on top of their initial vaccinations. This ensures a high level of protection against serious illness and helps reduce the number of hospital admissions.