The Dutch approach is aimed at controlling the virus as much as possible, not overburdening healthcare and protecting vulnerable people in society. At the moment, visibility of the virus is putting hospitals under pressure. That is why measures are now in place to quickly reduce the number of new infections. According to prime minister Mark Rutte, the contamination figures must decrease more quickly. ‘In the hospitals it is sinking or drowning in many places,’ he said at Tuesday evening’s press conference with minister Hugo de Jonge.
The cabinet has therefore come up with a ‘strengthening package’ for the entire country. The new restrictions will apply for 2 weeks. All measures are listed below; they are also on the website of the national government which can be viewed here.
The measures will take effect on the evening of Wednesday 4 November at 22:00.
Theatres, cinemas and museums closed for 2 weeks
On 4 November, the majority of public spaces must close. In addition to theatres, cinemas and museums, libraries, casinos, zoos, amusement parks, sex clubs and swimming pools will also have to close their doors. Swimming pools may welcome children under 12 yeas of age.
The measures come as a new blow to the cultural institutions. The cinema industry is arguing for extra financial support from the government to prevent cinemas and film theatres from falling over and also refers to the bill that obliges cinemas to invest 3% of their turnover in Dutch films, Entertainment Business says.
Gyms open, group lessons stopped
According to the cabinet, sport is an important physical and mental outlet for people, and that is why the gyms will remain open. A limiting measure is that no more group lessons may be given.
Almost all competitions and amateur sports in a team had already been stopped.
Work and stay at home as much as possible
The basic rules apply to everyone, such as ‘work at home unless there is absolutely no other way’, ‘stay at home as much as possible’ and ‘keep 1.5 metres distance’ – also in shopping streets, parks and recreational areas, for example. To ensure that everyone can adhere to these rules, the government works together with many companies and organisations, such as employers and trade unions, sector organisations and the Dutch Railways.
Group gatherings further limited
The maximum number of people who are allowed to be together in the street reduces from four to two as of 22:00 on 4 November, with the exception of children up to and including 12 years old or people from the same household.
It is also stated that a maximum of two guests per day from different households at home can visit your home. An exception for children up to and including 12 years of age also applies here. A maximum of 20 people applies at a wedding. A maximum of 30 people applies to a funeral from 9 November.
The cabinet also calls on people to stay at home as much as possible. ‘So go to the supermarket on your own and don’t shop for fun. The prime minister said during the press conference, ‘Always ask yourself: do I really have to go outside?’
No unnecessary travel
The cabinet calls on people not to travel abroad until mid-January. ‘The world map is now almost completely orange or red anyway,’ says the prime minister. The rule also applies to countries with code orange and yellow. With the advice, the cabinet wants to prevent people from returning home with infections from their holiday. This also applies to the Christmas holidays.
Christmas and New Year
The current package of measures applies for the next 2 weeks. Then, we automatically switch back to the partial lockdown that came into effect on 14 October (which can be viewed here). According to Mark Rutte, these measures will remain in force until at least mid-December.
In 2 weeks, the cabinet hopes to be able to provide more clarity about the rules around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
This is an ongoing situation and it is advisable to check the websites of the relevant authorities to obtain the most up-to-date information.
To keep updated with advice from the government and the RIVM, head to: