Coronavirus in the Netherlands: what changes from June 26

Paradiso in Amsterdam was packed after midnight. Photo: Paul Bergen ANP
Paradiso in Amsterdam was packed after midnight. Photo: Paul Bergen ANP

From June 26 most of the coronavirus measures in the Netherlands are ending – and many clubs already opened at midnight for people with a negative test or who had been vaccinated. And while social distancing remains the norm, face masks will vanish in most places. Here’s what you need to know.

Face masks
Face masks will no longer be required in shops and other busy places but will still be mandatory on public transport and in airports, and in secondary schools – until the summer holidays.

Regional health boards have also said they will still require masks at test and vaccination centre.

Home working
People who are working at home can go to the office for no more than 50% of their working time, as long as social distancing can be observed, including in the lifts and canteen. People should travel outside rush hour as much as possible.

Socialising and culture
No limits on group sizes in private homes or outdoors as long as people can keep 1.5 metres apart.

Bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, concert halls and everywhere with fixed seating can reopen with 1.5 metre distancing and without if they use ‘test for entry’ checks on all customers.

Museums and shops, and other locations where people are on the move, can admit one visitor per five square metres.

However, if they opt to use the ‘test for entry’ system – whereby visitors show a QR code that proves they have either been vaccinated, had a negative test or recently recovered from coronavirus – then the 1.5 metre rule can be ditched as well.

Events which require a permit, such as large festivals, can restart from June 30, again with ‘test for entry’ checks.

Amateur competitions can resume, as long as social distancing is kept to off the field.

People travelling abroad in July and August can have a free coronavirus test if they have not been fully vaccinated and are required to show a negative test at their destination.

Holidaymakers are also being asked to voluntarily take a test on their return to the Netherlands – a self-test, which will be free for those without symptoms – and a PCR test at a health board testing centre if they have them.

The European digital coronavirus certificate should be a reality by July 1 and will allow people to travel between EU countries more freely. However, as the Netherlands is still technically an ‘amber’ country, some countries may impose their own restrictions on people from NL.

The future
Ministers will decide on August 13, if the 1.5 metre rule can be ditched safely and if secondary schools can reopen without a face mask requirement.

Ministers will also give regular updates in the intervening period if necessary.

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