Dutch measures against coronavirus
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. With the number of infections increasing fast, tracking the virus is becoming more difficult. Measures have been put in place to rapidly reverse this trend. This step is needed to open up a new prospect: a society that has coronavirus under control. It is vital that we stay 1.5 metres away from others and continue to follow the basic rules. Everyone with symptoms should get tested and people who test positive must stay at home. In this way, the vast majority of potential new infections can be prevented.
The measures in place now are aimed at bringing down the number of infections quickly. The government’s approach is to intervene in situations where the risk of transmitting the virus is greatest. Right now, this means limiting travel movements and opportunities for people to come into contact with each other, helping people comply with the basic rules and enforcing compliance more strictly. We will again be able to use more targeted interventions in the future.
Anticipating the virus
We want our interventions to be as targeted as possible. Unfortunately, the greater the number of infections, the more sweeping the measures have to be. We have developed a range of tools: testing policy, the Coronavirus Dashboard (with its four risk levels, clearly indicating what measures are needed at any given time), the CoronaMelder app to support source- and contact-tracing efforts, and stricter legislation and enforcement. All these help us better track and anticipate the spread of the virus. And that means we can make rapid, targeted adjustments and combat the virus wherever it flares up.
Government working together with organisations and businesses
The basic rules, such as working from home wherever possible, avoiding busy places and staying 1.5 metres apart, apply to everyone. These rules also apply in shopping streets, parks and recreation areas. To ensure everyone can follow these rules, the government is working together with businesses and organisations, including employers’ federations, trade unions, sector associations and Dutch rail company NS.
Every business is different. For smaller shops and restaurants the 1.5 metre rule means they can admit fewer people. Other businesses have small workspaces or narrow corridors. It is impossible for the government to take decisions or introduce measures that provide a solution for every business and answer everyone’s questions. Solutions need to be tailored, and the government is willing to provide input and support where possible.