On the evening of 6 May, the Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Minister Hugo de Jonge gave a press conference in which they explained which corona measures are relaxing and which stay the same.
In this latest conference, it was said that together we are making it possible to loosen the measures. The Dutch approach has worked well in bringing coronavirus under control. The risk has certainly not disappeared, but if we continue to follow the main rules, we can gradually allow ourselves more freedom. It was heard yet again that we will not get rid of the coronavirus until a vaccine is made available, so we have to get used to living with it for the time being, but…
…it is crucial that we all follow the rules and take care of each other.
The general advice is to stay at home as much as possible and most importantly stay at home if you have cold-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, a runny nose, sneezing, a mild cough or a fever below 38 °C, or symptoms that indicate a possible coronavirus infection. We are advised not to make unnecessary trips and to avoid busy places. For now, there is a plan until 1 September and every week the current numbers will be reviewed to see which measures should be kept or changed.
New corona measures:
- Cinemas and cultural institutions (such as concert venues and theatres) will reopen on 1 June, under certain conditions:
- A maximum of 30 people (including staff); people must be able to stay 1.5 metres apart.
- Visitors must reserve beforehand.
- Museums and heritage sites will reopen. Visitors must buy tickets beforehand, to ensure people can stay 1.5 metres apart.
- Hospitality industry: For some restaurants and cafes, they can open their terraces again from 1 June, provided that ‘everyone is seated at a table’ and ‘keep 1.5 metres away’.
- Contact professions: People with contact professions can also get back to work. If hairdressers, physiotherapists and acupuncturists, among others, only work by appointment and are guaranteed a distance of 1.5 meters between customers in their salon or practice, they may resume work from 11 May.
- Sports: Non-contact sports may be practiced again from 11 May. This is good news for swimmers, golfers and tennis players, who have to keep a distance of one and a half meters, and they should shower at home.
- Education: We already know that primary schools and daycare places will reopen on Monday 11 May. Secondary schools may start teaching again from 1 June. The logistics will be explored in the coming weeks. Practical education and tests will be able to start again two weeks later, from 15 June.
- Public transport: Only use public transport if there is no alternative. Public transport will start operating according to the normal timetable again on 1 June, although according to the Cabinet that relaxation is not intended to make leisure travel possible.
- Face masks: In some situations, it is not possible to travel while keeping 1.5-metre distance from fellow travellers in trains, buses and trams. This is why from 1 June it will be mandatory to cover the nose and mouth with a mask, although it is not a substitute for the distance (where possible, keep 1.5 metres apart). It is advisable to wear a non-medical mask, but also with a homemade one. The medical masks are saved for the healthcare workers.
- Testing: Testing of more professions will begin gradually, starting with teachers when the schools open again. The goal is to be able to test everyone with symptoms in June.
A list of these new measures, which will come into effect after 11 May, is available on the government’s website here.
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: