Press conference of 27 May: current roadmap of measures against coronavirus
Please note: this news item was published on March 28. Read more about the current approach to tackling coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The main points of the timetable for relaxing the measures in place to tackle coronavirus in the Netherlands will remain unchanged. This was decided by the government on Wednesday 27 May 2020. Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke about the outcome of government deliberations at a subsequent press conference.
On 1 June several measures will be relaxed, including for groups, cafés, bars and restaurants, schools and cultural institutions. The basic rules still apply: wash your hands, keep a distance of 1.5 metres, avoid busy places, stay at home if you have symptoms and work from home as much as possible. All the information can be found on www.government.nl/coronavirus.
Developments permitting, more measures will be relaxed on 1 July. The government has added several categories to the list of locations set to reopen on that date, namely gyms and fitness centres, saunas and spas, clubhouses, casinos and amusement arcades. These locations were previously expected to reopen on 1 September. The basic rules and additional measures will of course apply at these locations too. A definite decision on this matter will be taken at the end of June, when the situation regarding other indoor sports activities will also be considered.
Outdoor sports activities for under 18s
From 1 June young people aged 13 to 18 will be allowed to take part in organised sports activities outdoors under the supervision of sports clubs or professionals, without keeping a distance of 1.5 metres. This is already the case for children aged 12 and under. Competitions and matches will remain prohibited.
Testing in the case of mild symptoms, including loss of smell or taste
From 1 June, anyone with mild symptoms that may point to coronavirus will be able to phone a national hotline and make an appointment to be tested by the municipal health service (GGD). If we are to keep the virus under control now and in the weeks and months ahead, extensive testing and source and contact tracing are crucial. Loss of smell or taste have been added to the list of symptoms that may point to a coronavirus infection.
The government hopes to be able to provide more information next week about the summer holiday months. It is however already certain that the basic rules as they apply now will still apply in July and August.
Keeping the virus under control
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. This has made our roads and public transport busier. In July, restrictions will be relaxed at regional level and after that 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.