The Dutch government on September 28 introduced new measures to control the spread of coronavirus, and several regions where infections are rising rapidly are recommending the use of face masks in indoor public spaces.
The new measures will be reassessed after three weeks, and the aim is to cut the R factor, or reproduction rate, from around 1.4 to below 1.
Given the time-lag in the infection rate, the government expects the number of people testing positive for the virus to hit 5,000 in the coming two weeks, when the impact of the new measures should start being felt.
Here are the main points:
- People should work at home unless this is impossible. Companies where clusters of infections occur will be shut down for 14 days
- Limit guests at home to three, excluding children under the age of 13
- Four is the maximum size of a group in a cafe, restaurant, cinema or other location
- No more than 30 people should be in one room – think cafe or bar for example – but this will not apply to schools and universities, funerals, religious meetings, and official bodies. There are separate rules for museums and other attractions
- No more than 40 at an outdoor event or location, with exceptions for funerals, essential work, demonstrations, markets and outdoor attractions
- Cafes, bars and restaurants must close their doors at 9pm and everyone must have gone home by 10pm
- Retailers must limit shopper numbers to make sure they can stay 1.5 metres apart
- Supermarkets are being asked to allocate two time slots a day when people with vulnerable health issues can shop
- Spectators are being banned from all sports events, amateur and professional
- Sports club canteens must be closed
- Travel should be kept to a minimum but there is no recommendation advising against travel to Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, as mooted earlier
- Museums, amusement parks and other attractions must limit visitor numbers in consultation with safety experts. Advance bookings are needed
- The asset check for freelancers applying for financial help (Tozo) has been dropped
Masks must still be worn on public transport and at airports, but the government has not introduced a nationwide requirement that they be worn by the general public
Nursing home workers and all visitors are to wear medical face masks from now on in the three worst affected regions of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
The mayors of Amsterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and Rotterdam have urged their residents to wear face masks in supermarkets and public buildings, including museums and in government offices. These measures are advisory.
Hema has already said it will not enforce a ban, but the Rijksmuseum is making them compulsory.
For more on the measures, see the government website
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