Tackling coronavirus: the next step
Please note: this news item was published on 19 May.
As long as coronavirus remains under control, we will continue to move step by step towards having more freedom. As of 1 June the Netherlands will relax a few more measures. People will be able to do certain things together again.
Everyone must still follow these rules:
- Wash your hands often.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
- Use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use.
- Don’t shake hands with others.
- Stay 1.5 metres (2 arms lengths) away from other people.
- Take extra care if you are over 70 or have health issues.
- Work from home if possible.
- Stay at home if you have cold-like symptoms.
- Avoid busy places. Leave if it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart.
The changes to measures as of 1 June are as follows:
- People may meet outside as long as they remain 1.5 metres apart.
- Buildings that are open to the public can admit up to 30 people at a time, not counting staff. Here, too, people must stay 1.5 metres apart.
- People are strongly advised to still keep 1.5 metres apart from any visitors to their home –indoors, in gardens and on balconies.
Restaurants, bars and cafés - from 12.00
- Restaurants, bars and cafés can open under the following conditions:
- a maximum of 30 guests (so not counting staff);
- people must make a reservation;
- everyone must stay 1.5 metres apart (except people who live together);
- the business must assess possible health risks beforehand together with the customer.
- There is no maximum number of people for outdoor seating areas, but all guests must sit at tables and people who do not live together must stay 1.5 metres apart.
- Secondary schools will reopen on 2 June. Schools will take measures to ensure that everyone can keep 1.5 metres apart. In practice, this means that not all pupils can attend school at the same time.
- Secondary schools for special education will reopen for all pupils on 2 June. These schools will also take measures to ensure that everyone can keep a distance of 1.5 metres. This will require a tailored approach and maintaining a distance will not always be possible at this type of school.
- Primary schools will be open their regular hours from 8 June, unless the research currently being carried out shows that this is not safe.
- From 8 June children will be able to attend out-of-school care (BSO) on the days stated in the contract with the childcare provider.
- From 8 June emergency childcare will be only available for children of parents who work evenings, nights or weekends in the healthcare sector (until 1 July).
- On 15 June schools for secondary vocational education (MBO), institutions for higher professional education (HBO) and universities will reopen to a limited extent for exams, practical training and to provide support to vulnerable students.
Cultural institutions – 1 June from 12.00
- Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can reopen under the following conditions:
- a maximum of 30 audience members per auditorium;
- people must make a reservation;
- the venue must assess possible health risks beforehand together with the customer;
- everyone must maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others.
- Museums and heritage sites can reopen if people buy tickets in advance and the health risks are assessed beforehand. The maximum number of visitors depends on the building. People must stay 1.5 metres apart.
- Schools of music and arts centres can admit up to 30 people to their buildings. People must stay 1.5 metres apart.
- Use public transport for essential travel only.
- From 1 June passengers aged 13 and over will be required to wear a non-medical face mask on trams, buses, water buses, metros and trains. In stations, on platforms and at bus and tram stops face masks are not required, but people must stay 1.5 metres away from others.
- Passengers who do not wear a face mask after 1 June can be fined €95.
One care home in each GGD region is currently admitting a limited number of visitors under strict conditions. From 25 May the policy will be extended to more care homes. The government expects to be able to adapt the visiting policy for all care homes from 15 June.
Step by step
The Netherlands’ approach is aimed at keeping the virus under control as much as possible in order to protect vulnerable groups and make sure the healthcare system can cope. Thanks to people complying with the measures, the situation has improved. The figures show a positive trend and so we can move step by step towards having more freedom.
The government has started by relaxing restrictions at local or neighbourhood level. That has not made our roads and public transport much busier. Next, restrictions are being relaxed at regional level and finally at national level. First small gatherings are allowed, and later larger gatherings, so that everything remains as manageable and orderly as possible.
Each step can only be taken if the virus stays under control. This must be done with great care. If circumstances require, any decision to relax measures will be reversed.