Coronavirus press conference: Some restrictions lifted, hospitality to stay closed

Coronavirus press conference: Some restrictions lifted, hospitality to stay closed

At the press conference on Friday, January 14, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minster Ernst Kuipers announced a handful of relaxations to the national coronavirus restrictions, but confirmed that most rules would stay in place until (at least) January 25. 

Universities, shops and hairdressers in the Netherlands to reopen

After one month in lockdown, the Dutch government has relaxed some of the Netherlands’ hard lockdown restrictions:

  • Higher education to resume physical education
  • Non-essential shops to open from January 15, enforced closing time of 5pm
  • Hairdressers and other non-medical contact-based professions to reopen from January 15, enforced closing time of 5pm
  • Gyms and other indoor sports facilities to reopen from January 15
  • Max. four household guests per day (excluding children under the age of 13)
  • When outside, max. group size of four (if not from the same household) (excluding children under the age of 13)
  • No mandatory quarantine for boosted and recently recovered people who have been in contact with someone who tests positive

While some sectors are being provided with more freedoms, several rules will be in place for the reopening of universities, non-essential businesses and gyms:

  • One customer per five square metres in shops
  • Coronavirus certificates mandatory for indoor sports (from the age of 18)
  • Max. 75 people per room in higher education
  • Maintain 1,5-metre distance

Dutch government expands face mask mandate

As per the latest advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), the government has expanded the national face mask mandate. The following urgent advice now applies:

  • Wear surgical masks at hospitals, at airports, on public transport, and in indoor public areas (i.e. supermarkets)  
  • Wear surgical masks outdoors where no distance can be maintained
  • Wear surgical masks in higher education
  • Wear surgical masks at work where no distance can be maintained
  • Wear surgical masks when at sports facilities (except when exercising)

This advice effectively brings an end to the use of fabric / cloth face masks.

Some COVID-19 restrictions extended until January 25

While some restrictions are being relaxed, the following rules will remain in effect until (at least) January 25:

  • Hospitality industry is closed (open for takeaway)
  • Museums are closed
  • Cinemas are closed
  • Zoos are closed
  • Theatres are closed
  • Casinos are closed
  • Theme parks are closed
  • Concert halls are closed
  • Ban on all events 
  • Max. 100 people at funerals
  • Enforced opening times of 5am - 8pm for essential shops / services (i.e. supermarkets, pharmacies, libraries)
  • Ensure proper ventilation in all indoor spaces
  • If you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19 then stay home and get tested
  • Limit travel as much as possible and avoid crowds
  • Work from home as much as possible 
  • Maintain 1,5-metre distance 
  • No spectators at sporting events

The government will reevaluate the COVID-19 situation, with the next press conference scheduled to take place on January 25.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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