Thursday 23 September 2021

Coronavirus in the Netherlands: What you need to know (March 8)

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The government brought in some minor alternations to the coronavirus regulations on Monday evening, but opened the door to bigger changes in April. Here’s a round up of the latest measures.

Curfew
The curfew will continue from 9pm to 4.30am until the morning of March 31, but people who have to vote late, or have to work because of the general election on March 15, 16 and 17, will be exempt.

Travel
The government is now advising against all foreign travel up to April 15, unless there is a very compelling work or family reason.

Last week the regulations announced on January 22, including the suspension of all flights from Britain, South Africa and all of South America were extended until April 1.

However, the ban on flights and ferry travel from Britain will now be lifted from March 9, although the test and quarantine requirements remain in place.

The government also hopes to finalise legislation making quarantine compulsory within a month.

For the official travel advice, see the government website.

Shops
Non food shops, which have been allowed to serve customers by appointment for the past two weeks, will be able to accept more clients, if they are big enough.

The change means that shops with floor space of less than 50 square metres will be able to have two customers, while those with more will be able to book an appointment for one customer per 25 square meters, up to a maximum of 50.

The appointment must have been made at least four hours ahead of the visit and each appointment must be for at least 10 minutes.

Sport

Children up to the age of 12 will be able to take swimming lessons at indoor pools again, with one eye on safety during the summer holidays.

Adults over the age of 26 will be allowed to take part in sport with up to three other people outdoors, as long as they keep 1.5 metres apart. Indoor sports centres and gyms remain closed.

Home visits
No more than one visitor per 24 hours remains the recommendation. This, plus the curfew, is depressing the number of new coronavirus cases by 10%, prime minister Mark Rutte told Monday’s press conference.

And in the future
If infection rates come down, the government hopes to reopen cafe terraces for a maximum of 50 people and allow colleges and universities to restart physical lessons next month.

The current one visitor per 24 hour regulation will also be expanded to two, and shops will have fewer restrictions.

The next press conference will be held on March 23.

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