Tuesday 15 June 2021

Coronavirus in the Netherlands: what you need to know (May 12)

Ready for outdoor breakfast? Photo: DutchNews.nl

The government will decide on May 17 if the next round of changes in the coronavirus regulations will go ahead or not. Here’s what you need to know is on the cards for May 19.

Sports clubs and exercise

Fitness centres and indoor swimming pools may reopen with a maximum of 30 people and social distancing. People may only exercise or do sports individually or in groups of two – so no yoga classes as yet. No competitions or spectators and the changing rooms will be closed apart from at swimming pools. Reservations are mandatory.

Outdoor sports will be allowed in groups of up to 30, with 1.5 metre distancing. No competitions, no spectators. The under 27s were already allowed to take part in sports outdoors and do not have to stay 1.5 metres apart.

Sports canteens can also reopen and canoe, boats and bicycles rental firms can start operating again.

Amusement parks and zoos

Amusement parks, zoos and city farms can reopen, as can playgrounds and mini golf parks, as long as there is no more than one visitor per 10 square metres. Reservations are mandatory and limited to single households or no more than two people from different households, excluding children. All indoor attractions – such as the Droomvlucht at the Efteling – will remain closed.

Arts and culture

You will be able to take music, dance or theatre lessons again as an individual or in a group of two. No audiences and reservations are mandatory. Face masks are also compulsory unless the nature of the activity makes it impossible.

Open air cinemas and theatres can reopen with a maximum audience of 30 and social distancing. Reservations are mandatory and can be made for family groups or up to two people from different households, excluding children.

Open air museums, sculpture gardens and outdoor historic sites can also reopen with a limit of one visitor per 10 square metres. Indoor museums and galleries remain closed.

Outdoor seating areas at restaurants and cafes

These can now open from 6am to 8pm, so you can have beer for breakfast, but all other conditions still apply. Each establishment may have a maximum of 50 guests. No more than two people from different households may be seated at a table, sitting 1.5 metres apart.

Sex workers can also start working again.


The blanket ban on foreign travel will go from May 15 and will be replaced with travel advice on a country by country basis. Check which are yellow or green via Wijsopreis.nl (in Dutch only).

However,  most countries – including those with a ‘yellow’ or ‘green’ risk level – have restrictions on travellers from the Netherlands in place, such as quarantine or a negative coronavirus test.

Non-essential travel to orange and red countries is still recommended against.

The rules for travel from abroad to the Netherlands remain unchanged, and visitors will have to go into quarantine if they travel to the Netherlands from a country not on the designated safe list outside the EU.

There are some exceptions to the travel ban for non-EU nationals, which are detailed here.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.