Coronavirus press conference: Rutte announces new national measures
At the press conference on Tuesday, November 3, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced additional coronavirus measures for the whole of the Netherlands, which will come into effect at 10pm on Wednesday, November 4.
The measures will be in place until November 18. Speaking at the press conference, Rutte said: “it’s not going badly, but it also isn’t going as well as it should. The number of cases needs to decrease faster.”
Coronavirus measures for the Netherlands
The following measures are already in place in the Netherlands, or will come into effect at 10pm on Wednesday:
These were the measures announced at the press conference on October 13:
- Work from home as much as possible
- Limit travel / stay home as much as possible
- Ban on events
- All catering establishments closed (except for take-away)
- Sale of alcohol banned after 8pm
- Shops close at 8pm (except supermarkets)
- Maximum 30 people for indoor areas where people are seated
Rutte announced that the above measures will remain in place until mid-December. The urgent advice to wear a face mask in all indoor public areas is also still in place.
These new measures will be implemented alongside the existing measures:
- Cinemas to close
- Theatres to close
- Zoos to close
- Theme parks to close
- Libraries to close
- Museums to close
- Public swimming pools to close
- Clubs and associations to close
- Maximum group size of two when meeting outside (if not of the same household, excluding children under 13) (was previously four)
- Maximum of two household guests per day (excluding children under 13) (was previously three)
- Maximum of 30 people at funerals
- Maximum of 20 people at weddings
Christmas holidays - travel advice
Rutte also issued negative travel advice for the upcoming festive period, advising people not to travel internationally during the Christmas holidays, until (at least) mid-January, unless absolutely necessary. (The Dutch Antillies don't count as international travel).
De Jonge said that, at this time, it wasn’t possible to know what exactly will be allowed or possible by mid-December, but that he hoped people would be able to celebrate Christmas together.
The Dutch government has also been working with mayors to put together a plan for more regional measures in areas where the number of cases fails to drop. These measures could include a curfew or closing schools. At the moment, these areas could include Rotterdam, Dordrecht, and Twente.
Looking out for one another
Rutte also addressed the topic of mental health, urging people to look out for one another over the coming weeks.