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.
Advice for people with health issues
People aged 70 and over and people with underlying health conditions have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus. If you have health issues, take extra care. It is a good idea to stay at home as much as possible for now.
From 11 May, one care home in each GGD region will start admitting a limited number of visitors under strict conditions. From 25 May the policy will be extended to more care homes. The government expects to be able to adapt the visiting policy for all care homes in a next phase.
Don’t visit anyone aged 70 or over, or anyone with health issues.
An exception has been made for older people with a limited support network who live on their own and are not fully independent. To prevent social isolation, they may be visited on a regular basis by the same 1 or 2 people. During these visits all the general health advice still applies. This includes staying at least 1.5 metres apart. These regular visitors must stay at home if they develop cold-like symptoms, a fever or shortness of breath.
Advice for children and teenagers
Children aged 12 and under do not have to stay 1.5 metres away from other children. All other hygiene advice also applies to children.
Children and teenagers may participate in organised sports and exercise activities outdoors under supervision. Official matches and competitions are not permitted.
From 11 May 2020 children and teenagers aged 18 and under may participate in regular group activities organised by scout groups, art and culture clubs, and other youth groups. The same conditions apply as for sports clubs.
Children aged 12 and under who participate in organised sports and exercise activities may train together outdoors under supervision.
Young people aged 13 to 18 who participate in organised sports and exercise activities may train together outdoors under supervision, but must stay 1.5 metres apart.
Municipalities will make agreements on this with local sports clubs, community sports coaches and other professionals in the sector. Different municipalities may opt for different approaches.