The government of the Netherlands unleashed new measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country on March 23.
These measures were announced at a press conference attended by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, health minister Hugo de Jonge, justice and security minister Ferd Grapperhaus, and medical care minister Martin van Rijn.
All these new regulations were created based on the advice provided by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The new rules and measures are stricter and compelling.
The New Rules
- Remain at home as much as possible. Only leave the house to buy groceries, take care of others, or to go to work if it is impossible to work from home. People can go to swap in the air outside, provided that they do not do it in groups. While outside, maintain distance from other people of at least 1.5 meters and avoid groups of people and all social gatherings. Even while at home, limit the number of visitors to three and maintain distance from each other.
- Anyone with a cough, cold, or showing symptoms of some respiratory illness must remain at home at all times. If any family member develops a fever, everyone else in the household must stay at home. However, the rule does not apply to key workers in the crucial sectors and critical processes unless they fall sick themselves.
- All gatherings, even of less than 100 people, are suspended until June 1. This is an update of an existing ban that was scheduled to end on April 6. An exception to this measure is made for religious weddings and funerals. Updates about this rule will follow soon.
- Public shops and transport services must take the necessary measures to guarantee that people keep a reasonable distance. They should limit the number of people allowed on their premises simultaneously.
- All businesses that operate within the contact-based industries like beauty parlors and hair salons must remain closed until April 6. All other professionals, including physiotherapists, are encouraged to work through video calls whenever possible.
- Casinos are now subjected to the same restrictions like those of food and drink establishments. All of them will be closed from March 24, 2020.
- Businesses and establishments like holiday parks must strive to ensure that people keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other. Failure to do that may force the local authorities to order closures of these locations.
- Mayors may designate areas like beaches, parks, or neighborhoods where people should not collect together. Authorities will take stern action against groups of 3 or more people who fail to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another. This measure does not apply to children or individuals in the same household, for example, families.
- Bans on public gatherings do not affect the markets since they are integral in bringing food to consumers in several parts of the country. Market superintendents and municipalities must come up with solutions that will guarantee that social distancing is maintained at all times in these markets.
- The government also plans to enforce existing measures more efficiently. Mayors can enact emergency by-laws to ensure that the necessary steps are enforced more quickly and effectively. On the other hand, mayors can also order particular locations to remain closed, including campsites, parks, and beaches. Anyone who violates these rules is liable for hefty fines.
All the previously published measures remain in force as elaborated in the government.nl reports. All these measures are designed to ensure that the Netherlands’ healthcare system can cope with the aftermath of the spread of coronavirus.
The approach and measures taken are based on the advice given by the Outbreak Management Team chaired by the director of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Jaap van Dissel.