The Dutch prime minister has given a historic live address to the nation to explain the ongoing measures the government is taking. The first new regulations were issued last week in response to the continued rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which led to larger events and gatherings of people with more than 100 people being cancelled.  Schools and restaurants are now also closed for the foreseeable future, as announced in the latest statement from the government. All these regulations are now effective until 6 April.

Historic address to the nation

On Monday 16 March, the prime minister Mark Rutte made a historic live address to the nation. “The coronavirus is gripping the country,” Rutte stated. “We are on a rollercoaster that is accelerating. The measures are unprecedented for a country in peace time.” He called for citizens to stay alert and follow directions, even the strong and healthy, for the benefit of people who are more vulnerable. “That is really important. Continue to use your common sense and listen to the experts. Continue to help each other where possible.”  He reiterated that this is a time for common interest above self interest and concluded by saying: “Together, we will overcome this difficult period. Pay attention to each other, I am counting on you.”

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Events cancelled

Following the country-wide regulations announced on Thursday 12 March in the Netherlands as part of the government’s measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Comedy on Top of Haarlem event that was due to take place on Friday 13 at DeDAKKAS could not go ahead. If you were due to attend event this event, we are currently inviting you to exchange your ticket for a future comedy event organised by the Haarlem Comedy Factory; for more details go here.

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Schools and cafes closed

We had been hoping to go ahead with our smaller events that were planned for this week but in the latest announcement from the government on Sunday 15 March stating the closure of schools, bars and restaurants, these have now also been cancelled. This means the school open day, Dutch language cafe and tax seminars will no longer be happening. Keep an eye on our Facebook feed for latest updates.

Read more about school closures on our site here.

The new measures will be added to the government’s website soon here. The full text of the prime minister’s speech is available here (in Dutch) and here (in English).

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.

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Remember, washing your hands is the top recommendation to help stop the spread of coronavirus

 

To keep updated with advice from the government and the RIVM, head to:

http://government.nl/coronavirus

http://rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-cover-19

Carmel McNamara