Corona: rules for shops in the 1.5 metre society

From 3 March all non-essential shops may offer shopping by appointment. Shops for basic necessities such as among others supermarkets and other food stores, chemists and gas stations may stay open for business. Delivery and pick up of orders (click-and-collect) are also allowed for all shops since 10 February.

Other services that are allowed to stay open are:

  • professional services (such as banks, notary offices, real estate agencies)
  • sales of flowers outside
  • take away from DIY stores (hardware stores)
  • service outlets for sending and receiving mail, parcels and packages

Everyone inside the shops that are allowed to remain open for business must make sure to follow all basic corona rules. This applies to customers and personnel. You must make sure the rules are clear and visible at the entrance of the shop and inside your store. If your customers or personnel do not follow the rules or the shop gets too crowded, the authorities can close (part of) your establishment.

Shopping by appointment

From 3 March shops may offer shopping by appointment. Customers must make an appointment at least 4 hours beforehand. You should provide your customer with confirmation of their appointment and practical information for safe shopping. You may receive a maximum of 2 customers at a time per shop, for at most 6 times per hour. This means customers get a time slot of at least 10 minutes. Do you have a shop with several floors? No more than 2 customers are allowed per floor.


Since 10 February all shops may offer click-and-collect services. This means that customers may order products and collect their order from your store. There are strict rules:

  • customers order online or by telephone
  • you set up a pickup point outside your store (at the door or in the parking lot) and you make sure there is enough room to keep 1.5 metres distance
  • customers may only collect their order in a given timeslot
  • customers are only allowed to collect their order on their own and only if they have no symptoms
  • your pickup point is sober, there should be no trigger for customers to stay any longer than is strictly necessary (for instance by playing music or offering sampling)
  • there must be at least 4 hours between the order and the timeslot during which customers may pick up their order

You can find all rules, including those for picking up packages and repaired goods, on the Dutch government’s website (in Dutch).

Opening shours

All shops must close at 20:00 hours at the latest. Late-night shopping is stopped. Supermarkets and other food stores may be open after 20:00 hours but no later than 20.45 hours as a result of the curfew (avondklok) that is in place from 23 January until 15 March 4:30.

Do you own or run a supermarket? You must have special opening hours for the elderly and vulnerable. This is usually twice a day for 1 hour.

1.5 metres distance

Shop managers must have a door policy to make sure all customers can maintain 1.5 metres distance. Make clear how many customers are allowed inside at any one time to be able to keep 1.5 metres distance. You may refuse entrance.

Safety in your store

You as a shopkeeper are responsible for the safety in your store. Your staff and customers must comply with the rules. Employees who have symptoms of a cold or with a fever must stay at home. You may refuse customers entrance to your store. In case of emergency you can ask for police assistance, as you would in case of shoplifting.

Cleaning shopping carts and baskets

You must regularly clean shopping carts, baskets, scanners and pin devices. This is especially important if you sell food and drinks. You may choose to have your customers clean shopping carts and baskets of have your staff clean them.

Sales of alcohol

Sales and delivery of alcohol is prohibited between 20:00 and 6:00 hours. If you sell alcohol online your customers may order after 20:00, but you cannot deliver until after 6:00 hours.

Face masks

The wearing of a non-medical face mask in public spaces such as stores, museums and airports is mandatory from 1 December 2020 (pdf available in 8 languages) for anyone 13 years of age and older. You may call on or refuse entrance to customers if they do not comply with this rule. Read more on face masks and your company.

Protocol for responsible shopping

Protocols have been drawn up with basic rules and guidelines for shops.

Shops must strictly keep to the rules in the protocols and the basic corona rules.

Each sector organisation has specific arrangements for their type of business. You can find all protocols on the Dutch-language website Mijn coronaprotocolPlease note: a protocol is not legislation, but an elaboration of the RIVM’s advice for the workplace.

If 1.5 metres distancing is impossible

For those entrepreneurs who cannot maintain 1.5 metres distance such as opticians, the following applies:

  • See your customers on appointment as much as possible to spread customer contact across the day
  • Ask your customers if they have any health issues such as a cold, runny nose, sore throat, (slight) fever or coughing.


[Source: Government of the Netherlands website]



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: