So. I’ve kind of ignored the elephant in the room, but it’s not going that great in Europe and it’s not going that great in the Netherlands either. We’re around 3,000 infections a day and they are expecting 5,000 infections by the end of next week regardless of what we do now. Therefore the Dutch prime minister and the Minister of Health, Wellness and Sport held another evening press conference today to discuss new measures, both country-wide and measures for Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. They pointed out that we are at a crossroads: if we don’t see a positive effect from these measures within 10-14 we might be heading for another “intelligent lockdown” again. Hmm.
Here are some of the measures (but not all, see the links below for more information). More regional measures might still follow. Most are country-wide except the first one about face masks.
- face masks in shops, including supermarkets, are strongly advised in some of the biggest cities, including The Hague. It is not mandatory (due to legality issues in the Netherlands) however shop owners have the right to refuse service if you are not wearing one. FINALLY!
- working from home is required unless it is absolutely not possible. Companies with a registered case can be closed for two weeks.
- non-essential travel should be kept to a minimum
- restaurants cannot accept new customers after 21:00 and must close completely by 22:00
- fans are no longer allowed at any sporting events, professional or amateur
- sport canteens are no longer allowed to be open
- up to 30 people can be indoors at one time, with up to 40 outside (there’s some exceptions to this in places where it doesn’t make logical sense: libraries, zoos, amusement parks, etc. In those cases the regional authorizes will take the available space into account)
- up to three guests are allowed inside a private residence or its balcony/gardens/etc. (excluding children)
- professions with close contact (hair dressers, therapists, beauticians, etc.) are required to register client details and pass it on to the health authorities if there is an infection
- supermarkets are required to have two hours a day that are designated for elderly and vulnerable
- larger retail stores are required to make sure everyone is keeping 1.5 meters distance
Here are some links in English and Dutch:
Aangescherpte maatregelen om de verspreiding van het virus terug te dringen from rijksoverheid.nl
Persconferentie coronavirus 28 september in eenvoudige taal from rijksoverheid.nl (kudos for the government including a “simplified Dutch” version)