Stricter coronavirus measures announced for the Netherlands
At the press conference on Monday, September 28, Prime Minister Rutte and Health Minister De Jonge announced stricter coronavirus measures for the whole of the Netherlands, which will come into effect at 6pm on Tuesday, September 29.
Measures for the Netherlands
The measures will be in place for three weeks, after which the government will review the national coronavirus situation. De Jonge stated that, if these measures were not effective in getting the coronavirus under control, a second so-called intelligent lockdown may be required.
Rutte again highlighted the importance of the general measures:
- Hold 1,5-metre distance
- Avoid crowds
- Wash your hands
- Cough/sneeze into your elbow
- Stay home if suffering from symptoms
- Get tested if showing symptoms
- Limit travel as much as possible
Stricter national coronavirus measures
Some existing coronavirus measures were strengthened, and additional measures have been added:
- Work from home unless you are absolutely unable to do so
- Outdoor events/locations - max 40 people
- Indoor events/locations (i.e. restaurant, cinema) - max 30 people per space
- Groups of max four people (if not from the same household) - for example, max four friends at a table in a restaurant
- Max three guests at home (previous advice was max six guests)
- For shops, museums, theme parks, etc. with walking visitors/customers, mandatory checks upon entry that capacity of the business is not exceeded to ensure all customers can keep 1,5-metre distance from one another
- “Shopping hours” twice a day in supermarkets for at risk groups
- Catering and hospitality establishments must close their doors to new customers at 9pm, and close completely at 10pm
- Mandatory registration of customers for all contact jobs (i.e. at the hairdressers)
- No spectators at sports events, both amateur and professional
- All sports cafeterias must close
Despite pressure from some, the Dutch government has not introduced a mandatory face mask rule. However, Rutte did advise the public to wear a mask when in shops in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Eindhoven. This official advice means businesses and shops could, if they choose, refuse entry to a customer not wearing a mask.
In Amsterdam specifically, Mayor Femke Halsema has issued what she calls urgent advice to all inhabitants to wear face masks in all public, indoor spaces. However, this is merely advice, and so face masks will not be compulsory.
Exceptions to the measures
There are some exceptions to these new rules. The rule of maximum 30 people for indoor spaces and 40 people outdoors does not apply to: