Monday 17 May 2021

Coronavirus in the Netherlands: what you need to know (February 24)

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The government admits it is a risky strategy, but some of the coronavirus rules are being relaxed. Here’s what you need to know about the February 23 update.

Curfew
The curfew will continue from 9pm to 4.30am until the morning of March 15, when voting starts in the general election. A decision about whether or not it should be extended further will be taken on March 8.

Education
Secondary schools and MBO vocational training colleges will reopen their doors on March 1 and pupils should all have at least one day a week physical classes. Social distancing must be observed.

There is no change to the provisions for pupils in exam years and the children of essential workers and after school clubs (BSOs) remain closed because they involve mixing children from different schools.

Shops
Non food shops, which have been closed since mid December, will be able to reopen from March 3 and serve customers by appointment. The appointment must have been made at least four hours ahead of the visit, and no more than two customers will be allowed per floor. Each appointment must be for at least 10 minutes.

This, said prime minister Mark Rutte, will allow people to try on that jacket they want to buy or check out the home furnishings.

‘Contact’ professions
Hairdressers, nail bars, physiotherapists and massage studios can reopen on an appointment only basis and provided both wear masks. Customers will also be asked about their health.

Sex workers cannot start working again because their profession involves ‘very close contact’ with the customer, Rutte said.

Driving instructors can also start giving lessons again and practical driving tests will resume.

Sport
Youngsters up to the age of 26 will again be able to take part in outdoor team training, but not in competitions.

Indoor sports centres and gyms remain closed. People over the age of 26 can take part in sports involving no more than one other person.

Home visits
No more than one visitor per 24 hours remains the recommendation.

Travel
No change to the regulations announced on January 22, including the suspension of all flights from Britain, South Africa and all of South America until at least March 4.

Everyone travelling to the Netherlands by boat or plane from a high risk area must have the results of a fast test taken no more than four hours before their journey with them, in addition to the PCR test. They also have to go into quarantine for 10 days on their arrival, but will be able to take a test after five.

The government hopes to finalise legislation making quarantine compulsory next month.

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

For the official travel advice, see the government website.

General lockdown measures
The rest of the lockdown rules have been extended until to March 15. The cabinet will take a decision on what to do next on March 8.

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