Netherlands to reopen further with coronavirus entry passes
As of 25 September, we no longer have to stay 1.5 metres from others. This is a big step forwards. It means restaurants and bars can open to maximum capacity, and all events will again be allowed. Nearly 13 million people in the Netherlands have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 11 million are fully vaccinated. Hospital and ICU admissions are stable. The majority of people who are admitted to hospital or who test positive for coronavirus are still unvaccinated. Vaccination coverage is high enough that we can lift the rule to stay 1.5 metres from others. But it’s not yet high enough to do this without putting other conditions in place. Only maximum vaccination coverage will allow us to lift all the measures, protect people with chronic health conditions, and ensure everyone has access to healthcare when they need it. In November the government will reassess the measures remaining in place for now.
Coronavirus entry pass is extra safeguard
The coronavirus entry pass system is being introduced for locations that will get busier when the 1.5 metre distancing rule is lifted. The aim is to keep the risk of transmission as low as possible while enabling people to socialise as safely as possible. The system also plays an important part in allowing most locations to open at maximum capacity – and to stay open.
As of 25 September, the coronavirus entry pass system will apply to bars and restaurants (but not takeaways), events (such as festivals, concerts and professional sports matches), and cultural venues (such as cinemas and theatres). Whether people have a fixed seat or not, and whether the location is indoors or outdoors, everyone aged 13 and over will have to show a valid coronavirus entry pass to gain admission. Everyone aged 14 and over will also have to show their ID along with their coronavirus entry pass.
All hospitality establishments must be closed between midnight and 06.00. All events will once again be allowed, but visitors will have to show a coronavirus entry pass. Events held outdoors, or indoors with fixed seating, are not subject to a maximum number of visitors or a compulsory end time, but they must close at midnight. Events held indoors without fixed seating can receive up to 75% of the maximum number of visitors and must be closed between midnight and 06.00. The government is developing support measures for nightclubs and discos and for events that are subject to capacity limitations. The details will be announced as soon as possible.
You can get a coronavirus entry pass if you are fully vaccinated, have valid proof of recovery or a negative result from a coronavirus test taken less than 24 hours before entry. For people without proof of vaccination or recovery, getting tested will remain free of charge.
You can generate a coronavirus entry pass using the CoronaCheck app on your mobile phone. Staff at hospitality establishments and organisers of events, sports matches and cultural activities can get the CoronaCheck Scanner app, so that they can easily check the validity of entry passes.
Basic rules still apply
Many measures have been lifted and we have gotten many of our freedoms back. But the virus has not gone away. It’s still important to keep following the basic rules, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Staying 1.5 metres from others is no longer mandatory, but is now an urgent advice. As long as the virus is circulating, giving each other space is common sense, and 1.5 metres is a safe distance that’s proven to help prevent transmission of the virus. Just like the other basic rules: washing hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, not shaking hands, staying home and getting tested by the GGD if you have symptoms, and ensuring a good flow of fresh air indoors.
The advice to work from home unless that is impossible is being modified. The advice is now: work from home if you can, and go to the office if you must. It’s up to employers and employees to make satisfactory arrangements on hours worked at home and at the office.
Face masks mandatory on public transport and at airports
Face masks are still mandatory in airports (in any case the airside area and any other locations designated by airport management, such as arrival and departure halls), on aircraft, trains, buses, trams and metros, in taxis and on other commercial passenger transport. Face masks no longer need to be worn in train stations and at bus, tram and metro stops.
As of 25 September, the maximum group size of 75 people in secondary vocational and higher education will be abolished.
Face masks no longer need to be worn outside classrooms and lecture halls at institutions for secondary, secondary vocational and higher education.
If there is an isolated positive case in a daycare group or primary school class, it is no longer mandatory for everyone in the group or class to self-quarantine and get tested.
Third dose and booster shots
People with a severe immune system disorder will receive an invitation from their attending doctor to get a third vaccine dose.
The vaccines are still very effective in preventing serious COVID-19 and death, so the Health Council of the Netherlands advises against booster shots for the general population at this time.
The rules on self-quarantining for people travelling to the Netherlands will change as of 22 September. Vaccinated travellers from very high risk areas such as the United States or the United Kingdom no longer have to self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands. Prepare your journey well. Before you leave, check the travel advice on wijsopreis.nl (in Dutch) and reizentijdenscorona.rijksoverheid.nl/en.
The government remains alert
The above measures will enter into effect on 25 September and will apply until further notice. If the number of hospital and ICU admissions remains low for a longer period of time, the government will lift some of the measures still in place. But the government will remain alert. If there is a sudden spike in the number of people admitted to hospital or the ICU, extra measures may be needed. The government will try to take targeted measures where possible. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the government are staying alert to the emergence of new coronavirus variants.