Coronavirus in the Netherlands: what you need to know (April 20)

Council wardens at an Amsterdam market. Photo:
Council wardens at an Amsterdam market. Photo:

Relaxing some of the coronavirus rules is a responsible approach, despite the current high rate of new infections, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday.  Here’s a round up of the latest measures.

The curfew, introduced on January 23, will be scrapped from the morning of April 28.

The government continues to advise against all foreign travel up to May 15, unless there is a very compelling work or family reason.

From that date, compulsory quarantine is due to be introduced for everyone arriving in the Netherlands from a red or orange zone country.

However, at the next press conference, on May 3, the government will outline what the situation is likely to be for the summer holidays. Nothing was said on Tuesday about the options for allowing visits by family from outside the EU.

Shops and markets
The appointment system for non-essential shops will end on April 28 and shops will be allowed to admit customers on spec, providing they wear masks, practice social distancing and limit numbers.

Market stall owners who sell non-food items will also be able to open up their businesses again from April 28.

Alcohol sales will still be banned after 8pm.

Bars and restaurants
Pavement cafes will be allowed to reopen from April 28 from midday to 6pm to allow people to have coffee or lunch, but not evening meals. Tables will be restricted to two people, or more if they are from the same household. Tables can be bigger if they have screens to separate guests.

Cafes can have a maximum of 50 guests and guests must wear a mask to go indoors to pay or use the washrooms.

No change, but the prime minister did promise more news on gyms on May 3.

Home visits
The number of recommended home visits will go up from one to two from April 28.

Colleges and universities
Students will be allowed to attend lectures one day a week from August 26, while observing social distancing regulations. Self test kits will be available for staff and students from May.

The maximum number of funeral guests will go up to 100.

Driving tests
People will once again be able to take their theory exam.

And in the future
If infection rates come down, the government hopes to further relax the regulations for pavement cafes.

The next press conference will be held on May 3.

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