The Netherlands’ approach is aimed at keeping the virus under control as much as possible in order to protect vulnerable groups and make sure the healthcare system can cope. Read more below about the basic rules for everyone.
Basic rules for everyone
Wash your hands.
Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, then dry them thoroughly.
Wash your hands often: before you go out, when you return home, after blowing your nose and of course before meals and after going to the toilet.
Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
Use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use.
Then wash your hands.
Don’t shake hands with others.
Stay 1.5 metres (2 arms lengths) away from other people.
This applies when you are outside, in shops and at work. It does not apply to family members or other people that you live with.
Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres reduces the chance of people infecting each other.
Work from home if possible.
Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
Stay near your home. Travel by bike or on foot as much as possible.
Only use public transport if there is no alternative.
Where working from home is not possible, employers will stagger working hours
Public transport: non-medical face masks
On public transport it is not always possible to keep a distance of 1.5 metres and the passenger’s health cannot be assessed before travelling. That is why you are advised to wear a non-medical face mask on public transport to protect others. From 1 June it will be compulsory to wear a non-medical face mask on public transport.
You can buy or make your own non-medical face masks.
Stay at home if you have cold-like symptoms
If you have mild cold-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, a runny nose, sneezing, a mild cough or a mild fever below 38 degrees Celsius, you should stay at home until you are fully recovered. Do not go out to buy groceries and don’t have any visitors. Have others do the shopping for you, or have your groceries delivered. Ask someone else to walk the dog. Household members without symptoms can follow the rules that apply to everyone in the Netherlands (see above). If you feel better and have not had any symptoms for 24 hours, you can go outside again. People who work in crucial sectors and critical processes are often still allowed to work if they have mild symptoms. They should discuss this with their employer.
If you have cold-like symptoms and a fever above 38 degrees Celsius and/or shortness of breath, stay at home until you are fully recovered. Do not go out to buy groceries and don’t have any visitors. Others in your household must stay at home too. Only household members with no symptoms may briefly go out to buy groceries. This restriction does not apply to people who work in crucial sectors and critical processes. They can go to work unless they develop shortness of breath and/or a fever above 38 degrees Celsius. If no members of your household have had any symptoms for 24 hours, you can go outside again. For more information about the rules at home, go to the RIVM website.
Moving step by step towards more freedom in public life
Whenever people gather in groups, coronavirus can spread quickly. That’s why measures are in place to prevent people gathering in large groups. It is also important that people themselves take responsibility. Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres. If people gather in groups and this poses a safety or public health risk, enforcement officers can take action.
Groups and gatherings
The general rule is that people who don’t live together must always stay 1.5 metres apart. For indoor gatherings, the maximum number of people is 30.
People may also meet outside, but must still stay 1.5 metres apart. Enforcement action will be taken if 3 or more people are not keeping a distance of 1.5 metres.
Buildings and other covered areas that are open to the public can admit up to 30 people at a time, not counting staff. Here, too, people must stay 1.5 metres apart. The possible health risks will be assessed beforehand together with the visitor. Stay at home if you have cold-like symptoms.
There is no maximum number of people for gatherings in homes. But people are strongly advised to make sure everyone can observe the hygiene rules and can stay 1.5 metres apart at all times. If a gathering causes a nuisance or poses a risk to public health, the authorities can take action.
Funerals, marriage ceremonies and religious or ideological gatherings may be held but must not exceed 30 people. It may be possible to raise the maximum number of people to 100 as of 1 July. Participants must stay at least 1.5 metres away from one another.
Other indoor gatherings with more than 30 people are permitted in these 2 cases only:
gatherings required by law, such as parliamentary and municipal council meetings and some shareholders’ meetings, can be held online. Physical gatherings are permitted but must not exceed 100 people. Participants must stay at least 1.5 metres away from one another;
gatherings necessary to ensure the continued daily operation of institutions, businesses and other organisations are permitted but must not exceed 100 people. Participants must stay at least 1.5 metres away from one another.
In principle, all events which require a permit are banned until 1 September.
Restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels
Outdoor seating areas can be reopened. There is no maximum number of people for outdoor seating areas, but all guests must sit at tables and people who do not live together must stay 1.5 metres apart.
From 12.00 on 1 June restaurants, cafés and bars may also have up to 30 guests inside. Guests must make a reservation and possible health risks must be assessed beforehand together with the guest. All guests must sit at tables and people who do not live together must stay 1.5 metres apart.
If the situation allows, the maximum number of people could be raised to 100 as of 1 July.
Hotels may serve food and drink to overnight guests, even if this means serving more than 30 people. Here, too, people must stay 1.5 metres apart unless they are members of the same household.
If there are fewer than 30 overnight guests, hotels can serve other guests up to a total of 30 people.
Until 1 September, cannabis cafés may only provide a takeaway service.
Nightclubs and similar venues will remain closed until 1 September.
Libraries are open and have taken measures to ensure that library users can keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can admit up to 30 people per auditorium (not counting staff). Visitors must make reservations and possible health risks must be assessed beforehand together with the visitor. Everyone must maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others.
Museums and heritage sites may reopen. Visitors must make reservations and the health risks must be assessed beforehand together with the visitor. The maximum number of visitors depends on the size of the building.
Music schools and arts centres can admit up to 30 people to their buildings. People must stay 1.5 metres apart.
Professional dancers, actors, musicians and other performers (except singers and wind instrument players who perform together with others) may practise or rehearse in groups of up to 30, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres away from each other.
Choirs and wind instrument ensembles are advised to await the additional advice from medical experts and not to start rehearsing together yet.