Additional coronavirus measures in The Netherlands (Or: It is about time)

There was another press conference this evening, with the prime minister Mark Rutte and the ministers De Jonge, Grapperhaus and Van Rijn speaking. Note: The Netherlands is not yet in lockdown.

For the full list of rules from the Rijksoverheid in Dutch, see this page.

Translated, the rules are:

  • Stay home as much as you can. Only go outside for work when you can’t work from home, or when you need to get groceries, or you need to care for someone else. You can go outside to get some fresh air, but do not do it in a group. Keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) between you and others and avoid social actives or groups of people. At home, you should limit yourself to three visitors and 5 feet between you at all times.
  • If you cough or have a cold, stay home (as before). If you get a fever, then everyone in your household has to stay at home. The only exception to this is for workers in vital occupations – unless they themselves get sick.
  • All events are canceled until 1 June instead of 1 April, even those with less than 100 guests. Exceptions for funerals and weddings will be announced later.
  • Stores and public transportation are required to take measures to make sure people stay at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. An example of this would be only allowing a certain amount of people inside at a time.
  • Hair dressers, beauticians and others in ‘contact’ occupations in the area of beauty care are not allowed to practice until 6 April. Physiotherapists should try to work as much as possible over videochat.
  • Casinos are required to close from 24 March – they fall under the same ruling as eateries and drink establishments.
  • At locations like vacation parks, the owners of the establishments must assure that people stay at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. If they do not do this, the municipality can force them to close.
  • Mayors can establish areas where groups are not allowed to form. For example, parks, beaches or neighborhood. Groups of three or more people that do not keep at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart can be fined. Persons in the same households, like families and children are exempt from this.
  • Markets are exempt from this ruling because they provide a vital food service. However municipalities and market owners must look at how they can assure visitors are kept at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart.
  • The government wants the current measures to be followed correctly. Therefore mayors have received the authority to take control more easily and quickly. Mayors are allowed to close certain locations, such as parks, beaches and camping ground. They are also allowed to give out fines.

The earlier announced measures will still be enforced (see also this Rijksoverheid.nl page in English).

The above picture was taken last week just out Den Haag Centraal Station – the hashtag #applausevoordezorg means ‘applause for health care workers’.

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