Coronavirus in the Netherlands: what you need to know (November 26)


New rules to try to get coronavirus under control in the Netherlands come into effect on Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:

In general

  • The Netherlands will be virtually locked down from 5pm to 5am, with all but essential shops and services shut.
  • Social distancing – keeping 1.5 metres apart – is mandatory for all adults over the age of 18, apart from people in the same household.

Shops and services

  • Supermarkets, pharmacies and other shops selling essential supplies can remain open until 8pm. All other shops must shut at 5pm.
  • In addition to requiring face masks, shops must ensure proper social distancing with no more than one customer per five square metres.
  • Public services, such as lawyers, mortgage advisors and medical practitioners can stay open until 6pm.

Cafes, bars and restaurants

  • All cafes, bars and restaurants must close between 5pm and 5am
  • Takeaway services are permitted
  • During the day, guests must show a coronavirus pass and be seated, and there must be 1.5 metres between guests.

Sport and fitness

  • All amateur sports, for adults and children, will end at 5pm.
  • Gyms and fitness centres must close at 5pm. Masks remain compulsory when not taking exercise and social distancing is required where possible. Coronavirus passes are also required.
  • Professional sportsmen and women may continue to train and compete, but without supporters.

The arts and culture

  • Coronavirus passes are required for all visits, but the 2G system is not yet being introduced.
  • Theatres, cinemas and museums etc must close at 5pm, so no evening performances.
  • Members of the audience will have to socially distance, which will reduce capacity in theatres and cinemas.
  • The maximum number of people in large spaces remains 1,250
  • Face masks must be worn while moving around.
  • Professionals in the arts and cultural sector may continue to rehearse but without members of the public present.


  • Schools, colleges and universities remain open, in principle.
  • Everyone from group 6 at primary school upwards must wear a face mask when moving around.
  • Colleges and universities must restrict numbers in lecture theatres to no more than 75.
  • Children under the age of 12 with mild cold symptoms should remain home and take a coronavirus test.


  • The ‘urgent advice’ is to welcome no more than four people over the age of 13 a day and to restrict this to members of the same household.
  • People are recommended to take a self test before a visit.
  • Children should be discouraged from meeting people over the age of 70, including grandparents, for the next three weeks.


  • Nothing was said at the press conference about changes to the current rules on foreign travel.
  • However, people are being urged to keep domestic travel within the Netherlands to a minimum.
  • On Friday, southern Africa, including South Africa and Botswana, were added to the very high risk list, which means only essential visits to the Netherlands are allowed, and visitors need to go into quarantine on arrival.

This list will be updated as more information becomes available.

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