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Together we will continue working to control coronavirus in the Netherlands. Handwashing, staying at home as much as possible, working from home, keeping a distance from others – all these measures advised by experts have been extended.

What measures are being relaxed from 11 May 2020?

  • Everyone may participate in sports and activities outdoors, including instruction, provided they stay 1.5 metres from others. The distancing rule does not apply to children aged 12 and under. Matches, competitions and the use of shared changing rooms and showers are still prohibited. Children and teenagers younger than 18 must still be supervised during sports and activities outdoors.
  • From 11 May 2020 most people in contact-based roles will be able to resume their work. This includes driving instructors, health-related professionals (dieticians, masseurs, occupational therapists, prosthodontists, etc.), hair and beauty professionals (beauticians, hairdressers, pedicurists, etc.) and alternative medicine practitioners (acupuncturists and homeopaths, etc.). Sex workers may not yet start work. If the public health situation allows, they may be able to start work again on 1 September 2020.
  • Libraries will reopen to the public and take measures to ensure that visitors can keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
  • Primary schools, including special primary schools, and childcare providers will reopen on 11 May.

Why is there scope for relaxing restrictions in these sectors from 11 May 2020?

The measures in these sectors can be relaxed because most of their clients are local and are expected to come to their appointment alone. Reopening will not lead to more people on public transport or in public spaces. Hairdressers, opticians, pedicurists etc. also have facilities in place that make it easy to comply with the hygiene instructions on, for instance, handwashing.

What changes are likely from 1 June 2020?

  • Restaurants, cafés and bars may reopen outdoor seating areas provided the 1.5m distance rule is complied with at all times.
  • Cinemas, restaurants, cafés and bars and cultural institutions (such as concert venues and theatres) will reopen, subject to certain conditions:
  1. a maximum of 30 people (including staff). For cinemas, the limit is 30 people per auditorium. In all cases people must be able to stay 1.5 metres apart;
  2. visitors must make a reservation or register beforehand;
  3. a check will take place first to assess possible health risks.
  • Museums and heritage sites will reopen. Visitors must reserve a time slot by buying tickets beforehand, to ensure people can stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Secondary schools will reopen, at least partially.

What changes are certain from 1 June 2020?

Since public transport will probably become busier around 1 June, it will be more difficult to stay 1.5 metres apart. It will also be impossible to carry out a preliminary risk check. That is why everyone travelling on public transport will be required to wear a non-medical face mask to protect others. You can buy or make your own non-medical face masks.

What changes are likely from 15 June 2020?

If we keep the virus under control, secondary vocational education (MBO) schools can reopen for exams and practical training. Plans are being made for reopening higher professional education institutions (HBOs) and universities more fully in due course. Schools will take measures to prevent public transport becoming too busy during peak hours. For example by adjusting school hours.

What changes are likely from 1 July 2020?

If we keep the virus under control, shared toilets and shower blocks at campsites and holiday parks, and at public parks, nature areas and beaches can reopen on 1 July. The government also hopes that the maximum number of visitors to cinemas, restaurants, cafés and bars and cultural institutions can be increased to 100. This increase would also apply to the maximum number of participants at organised gatherings, such as church services, weddings and funerals.

What changes are likely from 1 September 2020?

If the virus remains under control, gyms, saunas, health spas, sports club canteens, cannabis cafés, casinos and sex establishments will reopen. People of all ages will be allowed to take part in contact sports and indoor sports. Competitive sports events, including professional football matches, can take place without spectators.

Frequently asked questions about the relaxation of measures from 11 May 2020

What will professionals in contact-based roles do to prevent coronavirus infection?

People with contact-based jobs will make every effort to keep a 1.5m distance when doing their work and observe all the general hygiene measures. They will work by appointment only and carry out a preliminary check immediately before the client’s appointment. The use of non-medical face masks is not mandatory, but people may of course use them if they wish.

What does ‘a preliminary check’ actually mean?

On the day of the appointment, the professional and the client should discuss if the visit poses a health risk.

Should I wear a non-medical face mask when I go to the hairdresser, beautician or masseur?

The preliminary check can rule out many health risks, so wearing a non-medical face mask is not really necessary. But people may of course use them if they wish.

May I take the bus to the beach, the museum or the hairdresser?

You should walk, bike or drive there if you can. You should only use public transport if absolutely necessary. Avoid rush hour and make sure you stay a safe distance from others. From 1 June, it will be mandatory to wear a non-medical face mask on the train, bus or metro.

Do I still need to work from home as much as possible?

Yes. If at all possible, continue working from home. If this is not an option, employers should try to stagger staff working hours.

Can I visit someone who lives in a nursing home?

No. Nursing homes are still closed to visitors. The government intends to lift the ban step by step from 11 May 2020, starting at 25 locations around the country. Two weeks after that, if all goes well, the government can take the next step.

Can I visit someone who is in poor health?

Don’t visit 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.

Why are the restrictions on establishments serving food and drink not being relaxed until 1 June?

Other sectors, including the hospitality industry, are urging that restrictions be relaxed. The government understands their plight. The measures make great demands on us and have enormous consequences. The government wants to move forward, step by step, with businesses and organisations that have plans in place for the ‘1.5 metre society’. The government will start by relaxing restrictions at local or neighbourhood level. That will not make our roads and public transport much busier. The government will then relax restrictions at regional level and finally at national level.

First small gatherings will be allowed, and later larger gatherings, so that everything remains as manageable and orderly as possible.

Source: Rijksoverheid.nl