Coronavirus press conference: Government pushes back curfew by an hour
At the press conference on March 23, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that the national lockdown and curfew would remain in place until (at least) April 20, but that the Dutch government had decided to push the curfew back by an hour, from 9pm to 10pm.
Dutch government announces new times for national curfew
The national curfew - which came into effect on January 23 - has faced a number of obstacles over the past few months. While many members of the public and the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) had hoped to see Rutte lift the curfew this week, he instead announced that it would remain in place until April 20.
However, Rutte did confirm the rumours that the curfew would be pushed back by an hour, and so, from March 31, would be in effect from 10pm until 4.30am. This decision has been taken as the government feels it would be difficult for people to adhere to the curfew as the days are getting longer, and Rutte hopes the change will make it easier for police to enforce the curfew.
Rutte extends negative travel advice until May
Rutte once again extended the government’s negative travel advice, asking the public not to plan any international travel before (at-least) May 15. This means families are asked not to travel abroad during the May school holidays.
Semi-lockdown extended until April 20
The government had initially planned to announce a handful of relaxations to the coronavirus restrictions, however, the recent rise in infections means Rutte and his cabinet have decided against easing any restrictions. Instead, the following coronavirus measures will remain in place until April 20:
- All bars, restaurants, and cafes are closed (open for take-away)
- Coffee shops are closed (open for take-away until 8pm)
- Shops only open for click and collect and shopping by appointment
- Sale of alcohol banned after 8pm
- Universities are closed
- Museums are closed
- Cinemas are closed
- Zoos are closed
- Theatres are closed
- Casinos are closed
- Theme parks are closed
- Public swimming pools and saunas are closed (pools only open for lessons for children)
- Gyms and other indoor sports facilities are closed
- Libraries are closed (open for pick-up)
- Brothels are closed
- Max. one household guest per day (excl. children under 13)
- When outside, max. group size of two (if not from the same household)
- Stay home, work from home, and limit travel as much as possible
- If you're showing symptoms then stay home
- A ban on all events (excl. demonstrations)
- Wear a mask in all indoor public areas and on public transport
The government will review the restrictions and the coronavirus situation in the Netherlands over the coming weeks, with the next press conference scheduled for April 13.