Prime minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday evening outlined new measures which the government hopes will have a greater impact on the number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands.
The new rules come into effect on Wednesday evening at 10pm, and will last for two weeks, when they will automatically halt. In addition, Rutte announced that the partial lockdown measures introduced on October 13 will continue until mid December.
The impact of the new measures will be assessed in a couple of weeks. The government has also said it will introduce full lockdowns in areas where coronavirus infections continue to rise.
Here are the main changes:
- NEW: You may have no more than two (was three) visitors to your home in a 24 hour period, excluding children under the age of 13
- NEW: Group sizes in public places and spaces should be no more than two (was four), from mixed households
- Working from home is to become the norm again, and ministers are again talking to employers organisations to make sure it is encouraged.
- NEW: No more than 30 people may attend a funeral and up to 20 people may attend a wedding.
- NEW: A decision on Christmas and New Year fireworks will be taken in two to three weeks.
- NEW: Gyms remain open but there will be no group lessons for two weeks
- NEW: Swimming pools will be closed for two weeks
- No further changes announced in addition to measures of October 13
Museums, public buildings
- NEW: Museums, cinemas, theatres and libraries will be closed for two weeks
- NEW: Amusement parks and zoos will be closed for two weeks
- NEW: Casinos and sex clubs will close for two weeks
- NEW: Travel outside the Netherlands is strongly recommended against up to mid January
- Avoid all but essential travel. Holidays and family visits are not considered essential
- No restrictions on holidays in the Netherlands, but people are recommended to stay in their holiday accommodation as much as possible.
The infection rate in a number of areas is still increasing and is being closely monitored. If there is no improvement, the government will bring in a full lockdown in these districts. The measures will include:
- Closure of non-essential shops
- Closure of secondary schools, colleges and universities
- Night-time curfew
Hospitality sector (no change)
- Cafes, bars and restaurants in the Netherlands will be closed until mid December, but they may open for takeaways
- Hotels may continue to serve their guests food, but not alcohol after 8pm and cafes may remain open past airport security gates
- It will be an offence to use or carry alcohol or soft drugs in public places between 8pm and 7am.
Face masks (no change)
- The government also plans to make face masks compulsory in all indoor public spaces, but the date this will happen has not yet been finalised.
Shops (no change)
- Shops apart from food stores must close at 8pm.
- No alcohol, or soft drugs, are to be sold after 8pm