Curfew

The information on this website may change following the press conference held at 7 pm on 23 February.

A night-time curfew applies throughout the Netherlands. You must stay inside from 21.00 to 4.30. You cannot go outdoors without a valid reason.

Why is there a curfew from 21.00 to 4.30?

This far-reaching measure, which comes in addition to the existing lockdown, will prevent people from visiting each other and gathering in groups.

There are grave concerns about the UK variant of coronavirus, which is even more infectious than the virus we are familiar with in the Netherlands. Studies on other variants of coronavirus are ongoing. Other new variants of the virus that have already been identified are also sparking concern. It is vital that we reduce the infection rate now and delay the spread of the new variants. This will help ensure that hospitals have sufficient room for COVID-19 patients, and that regular medical procedures can continue as planned wherever possible. If we don’t take extra measures now, we might regret it later.

Many people become infected with coronavirus through family and friends. The requirement to stay indoors at night means that fewer people will visit or meet up with each other. Research has shown that night-time curfews help to reduce the spread of the virus.

If people go outdoors without having a valid reason to do so, they risk a €95 fine.

Who is allowed to be outdoors?

If you need to go out during curfew hours, you may do so only in the following circumstances:

  • in the event of an emergency
  • you need urgent medical or other assistance, your pet needs urgent veterinary assistance or someone needs your urgent assistance
  • your employer requires you to leave your home for your work
  • you are travelling abroad or to the Caribbean part of the Netherlands, or returning to the Netherlands
  • you are walking a dog on a lead. You must do this on your own
  • you are going to or returning from a funeral and can prove this
  • you are travelling in connection with a summons issued by a court, a public prosecutor or an objection, judicial review or appeals committee
  • you are travelling to take an examination or test as part of your MBO, HBO or university course and can prove this
  • you are travelling to or from a live broadcast where you are appearing as a guest and can prove this by showing your invitation to participate.

If it is essential for you to be outdoors during curfew hours, you must carry a self-declaration for curfew exemption with you. You can print this out and complete it yourself. You do not need to have a form with you in the event of an emergency, if you are returning from abroad or if you are walking a dog. If you are returning from abroad (or from the Caribbean part of the Netherlands)  you will have to prove this by showing your ticket, for example, and explaining why you are travelling during curfew hours.

If you have to go out for work-related reasons, you must also be able to show an employer’s declaration for curfew exemption. Your employer will determine whether it is necessary for you to be outdoors during curfew hours. If so, they will complete the form on your behalf. 

Police officers, investigating officers, firefighters and ambulance crew do not have to carry forms. The same applies for train and tram drivers and conductors, metro and bus drivers, taxi drivers, air crew and the crew of passenger ships.

What does 'outdoors' mean?

The rule is that you can’t go out during curfew hours. This means that you can’t be outdoors, including in your car or on a train. You can however go into your own garden or onto your balcony. This means that you cannot:

  • leave your home;
  • be in your own car;
  • be on public transport;
  • be in a taxi;
  • be on commercial passenger transport.

Why can’t I go outdoors alone during curfew hours? Surely that won’t lead to extra infections?

The rules apply to everyone. It is impossible for enforcement officers to check whether you are going for a walk round the block by yourself or are on your way to visit friends or family.