Dutch measures against coronavirus
The number of people in the Netherlands becoming infected with coronavirus is falling slightly. This shows the lockdown is starting to work. Our next task is to bring about far larger and quicker reductions in daily infection rates, so that the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and intensive care units also comes down. The government has therefore decided that the Netherlands will remain in lockdown until at least 9 February inclusive. This means we must have as little contact with others as possible, so that the virus cannot spread as quickly. That way we can ensure healthcare services remain available to all. This is especially important given the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus, which the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is now studying. The government has also asked the OMT to examine the potential benefits of more far-reaching measures such as a curfew.
Vaccination against COVID-19 has now started in the Netherlands. That means that we are now entering a new phase in this crisis. But unfortunately this does not mean that we can lift all the measures currently in place. Most people are still at risk and many people in the Netherlands are still infectious. The measures cannot therefore be relaxed in any way if we are to combat the spread of coronavirus. The basic rules can only be set aside once the vast majority of people in the Netherlands have been vaccinated.
Government working together with organisations and businesses
The basic rules, such as working from home wherever possible, staying at home as much as possible 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.