The Netherlands will be going into a three-week light lockdown. Coronavirus measures will apply from Saturday 13 November at 18.00 to at least Saturday 4 December. 

At the press conference yesterday, Prime minister Rutte began his address to the public with a number: 16,364. The number of infections counted by the RIVM the day prior to the press conference. The number as justification of new measures: “16,000 infections on a daily basis is too much and hospitals have to postpone other essential care again, hence why we sadly have to bring bad news.”

With numbers the way they are, he explains, the Netherlands will not have a good winter unless measures are taken. “Here’s what we’re gonna do: reduce contact and go back to old measures we know for three weeks. After that period we’ll go into a different phase.”

The government is thus tightening up measures to combat the sharp increase in coronavirus infections and avoid putting further pressure on the overburdened healthcare sector. The virus is transmitted through contact between people, so additional measures are being introduced to reduce the number of contacts that people have on a day-to-day basis.

The aim is to enable people to go about their daily activities (school, work, sports, etc.) as much as possible during the day, but to restrict the number of contacts in the evening. These measures will enter into force at 18.00 on Saturday 13 November and apply until at least Saturday 4 December. The government will reassess the situation on Friday 3 December.

To enable society to reopen as fully and as safely as possible after these three weeks, while keeping the infection rate manageable, the government is working to make coronavirus entry passes mandatory by law in additional sectors and the workplace. Preparations are also being made to allow businesses to choose whether to apply a 2G or 3G entry policy. Parliament will have to approve any such legislation.

 

Short-term lockdown measures November 13-December 4.

The following lockdown measures will come into effect as of Saturday, November 13 at 18.00.

In and around the house

  • Follow the the basic rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Work at home, unless you must work at your workplace.
  • Receive a maximum of 4 guests a day at home. This does not include children up to and including 12 years of age.
  • If a member of your household or housemate is infected with the coronavirus, your whole household must go into quarantine.
  • Avoid crowds on the road and travel outside rush hour.

Locations that are open under certain conditions.

Many locations have restricted opening hours.

Face mask requirement

  • Open from 06.00 to 18.00:
    • Non-essential shops, such as clothing shops.
    • Non-essential services, such as hall rental, contact professions, recreation, amusement and animal parks, wellness centers and saunas and tanning salons.
  • Open from 06.00 to 20.00:
    • Essential shops, such as supermarkets, pet shops, chemists, opticians and wholesalers.
    • Catering establishments, such as restaurants and cafés. Takeaway facilities will remain open.

Allocated seating is compulsory in places where a coronavirus entry pass is required. This applies to the catering industry, sports, art and culture and events.

Events

  • Events are only permitted from 06:00 to 18:00.
  • Events may only allow entry to a maximum of 1 250 people in an indoor area.

Art and culture

While the cabinet has taken the OMT’s advice and will implement a lockdown of three weeks (instead of the two, which was recommended), they will not be implementing full-lockdown measures.

  • Art and culture performances in cinemas, theatres and concert halls, for example, do not have a compulsory closing time and may remain open throughout the lockdown — contrary to the OMT’s advice. But with reduced attendance, QR checks and fixed seating.
  • Art and culture exhibitions and performances may only allow entry to a maximum of 1 250 people in an indoor area.

Sport

  • From 6 November 2021 onwards, a coronavirus entry pass is required for athletes and the public aged 18 and over.
  • Amateur and professional sports are not open to the public.

Education

  • In secondary vocational schools (MBO) and tertiary education institutions (HBO and WO) a maximum group size of 75 persons per room applies.

A complete overview of measures, conditions and exceptions can be found on the page ‘Measures in brief’.

Financial support will be available for businesses directly affected by these new coronavirus restrictions, such as retailers and food and drink venues. The government will provide more details about this support for businesses next week.

These new measures come on top of the measures that already apply, including the basic rules, mandatory face masks and the coronavirus entry pass system. Get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if you’re fully vaccinated.

 

Proposed longer-term measures

QR-codes needed at more venues

If we succeed in reversing the current trend in the weeks ahead and the number of positive cases falls, the government believes it will be possible to reopen society as fully and as safely as possible. The coronavirus entry pass system will be applied more widely.

This measure has been anticipated since last Tuesday’s press conference. Legislation is being drafted that will make coronavirus entry passes mandatory for most shops and for venues like zoos and amusement parks as well as non-essential shops and contact professions.

Cabinet ready to implement 2G policy

The legislation will also allow employers to check coronavirus entry passes in the workplace. The government had already announced these legislative proposals last week. A new proposal is being added to these. The government wants to give businesses subject to the coronavirus entry pass system the ability to choose between a 3G door policy (proof of vaccination or recovery, or a negative test result) with assigned seating, and a 2G policy (proof of vaccination or recovery only) without assigned seating. This legislative proposal will be sent to parliament as soon as possible.

Vaccine booster campaign to begin sooner

The COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign is starting (in Dutch only) on Friday 19 November for people aged 80 and over who can come to a vaccination center themselves, care home residents aged 18 and over, and healthcare workers who come into contact with patients. A booster is an extra dose of vaccine that people get on top of their initial vaccinations. This ensures a high level of protection against serious illness and helps reduce the number of hospital admissions.

 

[Source: The government of the Netherlands]

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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:

http://government.nl/coronavirus

https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Arianna
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