Monday 17 January 2022

First coronavirus rules relaxed: this is what you can do from today

Prejudices don’t pay the rent. Sex workers protest at not being allowed to practice. Photo: ANP HH / Peter Hilz

Some of the most stringent coronavirus measures in the Netherlands are being relaxed from Wednesday. Here’s an update of what you can do from today.

Shops
Non food shops, which have been closed since mid December, can reopen 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, with no more than six appointments made per hour. Shops can also offer a click and collect pick-up service.

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

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

However sex work remains on the banned list and several sex workers took their protest to The Hague on Tuesday. Sex workers are also largely excluded from government support measures.

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 outdoor sports involving no more than one other person.

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 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 curfew and the rest of the lockdown rules run until March 15. The cabinet will take a decision on what to do next on March 8.

The public health institute RIVM said in its weekly update on Tuesday that the number of new infections is rising again. The rise in infections was heavily concentrated in the under-20 population, where there was a 25% increase in recorded cases.

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