At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak people were eager to have strict measures undertaken by the Government to prevent further spread of the virus. With the number of infected persons successfully lowering, people are now eager to regain more freedom. This leads to “diabolical dilemmas”, as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called it during the press conference of 21 April 2020. He added that “any relaxation of measures carries risks.”
The decision of the Government and their advisory OMT (Outbreak Management Team) is clear: there is some room for careful relaxation of the measures in certain parts of society. Please read further to find out how the updates measures affect your situation.
All measures that we are adhering to since the announcement of the first set of measures, will remain in effect until at least the 19th of May 2020. One week before 19 May, the Government will give an update regarding this date, and if there is a need to further extend this date. What does this mean to you?
Primary schools and day care facilities may re-open partially on the 11th of May 2020. This date coincides with the end of the May break. The children will only go to school for 50% of the time. The remaining 50% will be spent otherwise with schools and municipalities given some discretion on how to fill this time. Special education primary school will re-open 100%.
Secondary education (voortgezet onderwijs), colleges and universities will remain closed until at least the 1st of June 2020. Secondary education is preparing to re-open on the 2nd of June 2020.
To give some clarity to all organisers of big events these upcoming months, the decision has been made to cancel all events that require a permit or notification until at least the 1st of September 2020. All cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, cultural venues and the like will remain closed until at least the 19th of May 2020.
Marriages and funerals are allowed with a maximum of 30 persons. The 1,5 meter distance must be adhered to. Religious and spiritual meetings must be conducted online as much as possible. If this is not possible, the same rules apply as they do for marriages and funerals.
Restaurants and cafés
All restaurants and cafés remain closed at least until the 19th of May 2020. Takeaway and delivery is still possible.
Children of maximum 12 years of age are allowed to participate in organised sports activities, excluding matches. They do not have to keep a distance of 1,5 meters. Teens from 13 up until 18 years of age can participate in organised sports activities but they must keep in mind the 1,5 meters distance and it must be adhered to. The Government has made this decision because it acknowledges the benefits of sports for children in combination with their low COVID-19 infectivity rate.
All fitness schools and sport clubs for adults remain closed until at least the 19th of May 2020.
It is not recommended to visit elderly people (people above 70 years of age). All care homes for the elderly will remain closed for visits. Elderly people that are living independently may receive careful visitors but the Government advises to pick 1 or 2 people that may visit the person in question, to minimise the risks.
This is a time of hardship for everyone. Everyone is affected by the virus. People might be very ill, have had to close their business, are facing salary cuts, cannot visit family or friends, having events they were looking forward to now being cancelled, are confused by a shaken daily routine. In short, we are all struggling in our own way. If you see someone that may be facing a difficult time, be there to help them in any way you can. Be friendly. If you have some extra time on your hands, why not reach out to local charities and ask if you can help? Haven’t heard from your friend in a while? Why not pick up the phone and call them? Let’s all be extra patient with each other and together, we will pull through. We are now living in an unpredictable time, but please remember: this struggle is not in vain. In time (be it a few weeks, months, or years) we will be able to get back on our feet.
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 email@example.com.
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