Social distancing is back: keep 1.5 metres apart or face a fine

Social distancing signs in Amsterdam. Photo: S Boztas
Social distancing signs in Amsterdam. Photo: S Boztas

Social distancing and keeping 1.5 metres apart is to become compulsory again from Wednesday morning, the justice ministry has announced.

Currently, social distancing is strongly recommended but there was no basis for the requirement in law, since it was abolished two months ago.

However, given the rise of coronavirus cases, which have gone up 40% in the past week, the cabinet has decided to bring back the measure, even though it still has to be anchored in law.

Police and council wardens will be able to issue formal warnings from Wednesday and repeat offenders can be fined €95.

The 1.5 metre rule is one of the most important basic rules to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, ministers say.

Same household

The requirement will not apply to people from the same household or in places where a coronavirus pass is required, such as a museum or restaurant.

Cabinet have sources have also told the Telegraaf that the press conference scheduled for December 3 will be brought forward to Monday or Tuesday next week and that ‘all measures are on the table’.

Government health advisors have said that schools should remain open because of the damage school closures have on children’s development.

However, given that most positive tests are among children of school age and their parents, this is a dilemma for the government, the Telegraaf said.

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