COVID-19: 5 May 2020 Update on Dutch Measures
On Tuesday 5 May 2020, the Dutch Government announced a new set of COVID-19 measures, providing a long term plan on how the current measures will be relaxed on a step-by-step basis. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT), who have been advising the Government since the start of the outbreak in the Netherlands, has advised the Government this time that a step-by-step relaxation will have the highest chance of success in line with their resources. In light of the infection rate and the death toll decreasing, it is time to start looking to readjust to a new situation where some basic rules are still respected, while space is created for businesses to start operations again.
A very important note regarding these updated measures is that the time frame can only be followed when the infection rate and death toll remain low. We should not continue under the impression that the risk of COVID-19 is gone. Should there be an influx of individuals being infected, the measures will be adjusted accordingly. To circumvent this, it is important to remain strict in adhering to the basic rules:
- Continue social distancing: keep a distance of 1,5 meters from others, avoid crowded places, do not shake hands, and work from home as much as possible.
- Wash your hands multiple times a day and especially after being outside.
- Cough in the inside of your elbow. When sneezing, use a paper handkerchief and throw it away afterwards.
- If you are showing symptoms of a common cold, remain inside. Additionally, if you are having difficulty breathing or having a fever, all the people living in your house must stay inside as well.
- If you are 70 years or older, or you have weak health, remain very careful. Remain at home as much as possible.
As of the 11th of May:
- All primary schools will be opened.
- Everyone may participate in outside activities and sports (people under 18 must be supervised) when it is possible to do this with a distance of 1,5 meters between each person. Only children under 13 years are exempted from the ‘1,5 meter rule’. Competitions, dressing rooms, and showers are prohibited.
- A lot of professions that require close contact will be allowed to start operations again. Important is that the professional must check beforehand with their client that they are not showing any symptoms. This check will remove a lot of risks and it is therefore not necessary to use face masks, however, everyone is free to do so regardless. The following professions are allowed to start operating again:
- Driving instructors
- (Para)medical professions, such as dieticians, masseuse, physiotherapist, etc.
- Professions in beauty care, such as hairdressers, make-up artists, nail salons, etc.
- Alternative healers, such as acupuncturists, homoeopaths, etc.
- Libraries may open again but they must take measures to make sure visitors can keep a distance of 1,5 meters.
After these measures, it is time to look at the future. The Government has set several dates and attached certain plans to these dates. As mentioned before, these plans can only be continued if the infection rate allows it to.
Expectation as of the 1st of June:
- Secondary education (voortgezet onderwijs) will open again
- Restaurant and café terraces (outdoor) may open if a 1,5-meter distance is possible
- Cinemas, restaurants, cafés and cultural institutions may reopen under the following conditions:
- Maximum 30 persons inside, including employees
- For cinemas and theatres: 30 persons per screening room.
- Visitors must make a reservation beforehand.
- It must be checked beforehand whether the visitor’s visit may create risks.
- Museums and monuments may reopen. Visitors must buy a ticket beforehand and the ‘1,5 meter rule’ must be adhered to.
More crowds in public transport are expected after this date. Therefore it is obliged to wear a face mask in public transport because it might be too crowded to keep a distance of 1,5 meters.
Expectation as of the 15th of June:
- MBO schools (secondary vocational education) will be allowed to take exams and practical classes.
Expectation as of the 1st of July:
- Common bathrooms and toilets at holiday parks and campsites will re-open again.
- Cinemas, cafés, restaurants, and cultural institutions may increase their visitor’s maximum from 30 to 100 visitors. This will then also apply to organized events such as religious gatherings, weddings, and funerals.
Expectation as of the 1st of September:
- Fitness clubs, saunas, wellness centres, canteens of sports clubs, and other associations, casinos, and sex workers will operate again.
- All sport is allowed (outdoor and indoor) and matches will take place without visitors. This applies to professional sport as well, such as football.
With regards to large scale events, such as festivals and concerts, so far, nothing has been decided on what will happen. This will be decided at a later date, before the 1st of September.
Please continue the practice of solidarity towards one another. We need it now more than ever. Only together we can beat this. The relaxation of the measures is not a reason to forget about the COVID-19 crisis. We still need to be vigilant. We are not at the finish line yet, but carefully, we can be optimistic about the future.
This article aims to provide a clear and general overview of the current measures that are undertaken by the Dutch Government to prevent further spread of the Covid-19 virus. For a complete overview, please consult with the Dutch Government directly through https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands.
Do you have more questions, or wish to receive more information on your specific case? Please do not hesitate to contact the MQM Legal Center’s Legal Emergency Squad at firstname.lastname@example.org.