Coronavirus in the Netherlands: all you need to know [UPDATED]

Up-to-date information on coronavirus in the Netherlands

Coronavirus continues to sweep across the Netherlands and the globe. Here’s up-to-date information, as it happens, on COVID-19 in Holland. 

The Netherlands reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus on February 27, 2020. Over one and a half years later, a sense of normality was somewhat returning to the country as vaccination rates went up and measures are eased. 

But now in November 2021, coronavirus numbers are higher than ever and on November 26 Rutte and De Jonge gave another press conference and announced further new measures.

THE LATEST | Press conference: even earlier closing hours, travel advice and more new measures


This page is updated every Tuesday as official figures are released from the Dutch health authority (RIVM).

Current figures COVID-19: November 16 – November 23, 2021

Total confirmed cases of coronavirus to date:

2,503,579

(+153,957 in last week)

Total deaths in the Netherlands to date

19,304

(+289 in last week)

Hospitalisations to date

76,813

(+1,833 in last week)

Last updated: 15:30, November 23, 2021

Note: Each Tuesday, the numbers for the preceding week become accurate. Usually, Tuesdays have the highest numbers of the week because of this. Weekends and public holidays can all cause delays in testing data.

What national measures are currently in place?

On November 12, the Dutch cabinet introduced new coronavirus measures and announced the return of some previous ones. These came into effect on November 13.

Current measures in effect

Face masks

  • Face masks are still mandatory on public transport, including aircrafts, trains, buses, trams and metros, and other commercial public transport. Face masks are also mandatory in airports.
  • You must wear a face mask in all indoors public spaces where “corona pass” is not required. This includes publicly-accessible buildings and covered areas such as: libraries, town halls, shops, supermarkets, game locations and amusement parks.
  • In addition, face masks are also mandatory within stations and station shops as well as when walking or moving in MBOs, universities or colleges.
  • Contact professionals and their clients will also be required to wear a mask once again (except for sex workers.)

QR Code

  • A “corona pass” QR code from the Dutch CoronaCheck app is required as proof of vaccination to enter indoor and outdoor areas of restaurants, cafés, and bars, cultural venues (such as cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, and historic buildings), events without a fixed seat (such as fairs), and business events.
  • A “corona pass” is further mandatory for audiences at sports events (unless under 18), organised sports practice for people over the age of 18 (gym, group lessons, football, swimming both indoor and outdoor), and art or cultural practices (unless under 18).
  • The use of QR-codes to gain entry will be expanded to include zoos and amusement parks as well as non-essential shops and contact professions.
  • You may also show a negative test result taken in the past 24 hours or proof of recovery.

Education

  • Within higher education, the number of people who may attend in person will be capped at 75. However, this will not apply during exams. Face masks are only mandatory when moving around and can be taken off when seated.

Business

  • Bars, restaurants, and cafés are allowed to open for both outdoor and indoor serving between 6 AM and 8 PM.
  • A coronavirus certificate — in the form of a QR code from the Dutch CoronaCheck app or a negative test/proof of recovery taken in the past 24 hours — is currently mandatory to enter indoor and outdoor areas of bars, restaurants, and cafés (not takeaways).
  • Night clubs, dance halls and discos may remain open, provided they follow the same rules as the hospitality sector. They must close at 8 PM and a corona pass/negative test/proof of recovery must be shown for entry.
  • Non-essential shops must now close at 6 PM.
  • Cinemas and theatres may remain open throughout the lockdown — contrary to the OMT’s advice. But with reduced attendance, QR checks and fixed seating.

Large-scale events

  • Large-scale events such as festivals, concerts, cinemas, theatres, professional sports matches, and multi-day events are open with certain conditions. These events can operate at 75% capacity without fixed seating. Venues with fixed seating may operate at full capacity and a corona pass must be shown for entry.

Visitors at home

  • Visitors should be limited to a maximum of four — even if they’re vaccinated.

Special events

  • Weddings and funerals have no maximum group size and may operate at full capacity. The basic rules for preventing the spread of coronavirus should be followed.

Sports

  • Everyone can participate in sports activities indoors and outdoors with no distancing rules. A QR code/negative test/proof of recovery will be necessary in order to participate in a group sport (for those over the age of 18).
  • Sport matches and competitions may take place. Spectators are currently not allowed at sports events.

Travel

  • Travel within the EU: Travellers coming from a high-risk area within the EU are required to how a coronavirus certificate when they arrive in the Netherlands. Travellers are encouraged to do a self-test when they get home, even if they show no symptoms and are fully vaccinated. Be aware, travelling is still a risk. For the entry rules per country, go to Wijsopreis.nl or download the Travel App (in Dutch).
  • Domestic travel is also possible for those who wish to go to a cabin or bungalow, provided the same measures apply as in the home.
  • Travellers coming to the Netherlands from a safe country/region from outside the EU/Schengen area are required to show proof a negative test result. In some cases, a proof of vaccination is sufficient.
  • Travellers coming to the Netherlands from a high-risk country are required to show a negative test result. A quarantine may be mandatory depending on which country you are coming from.
  • Fully-vaccinated travellers from very high-risk no longer need to self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands.

Access testing

The Netherlands uses an access testing system called CoronaCheck. You can use the CoronaCheck app for public locations with large amounts of people and sports events. The app generates a QR code if you are fully vaccinated or have taken an official access test no less than 24 hours before.

READ MORE | Vaccinated in the Netherlands? Here’s how you can prove it

Work from home

  • Workplaces should continue to encourage working from home as much as possible, and, preferably, at least half of the time.

Below are the standard measures that are additionally in effect:

Basic measures

  • Keeping 1.5 metre distance at home and in public is encouraged.
  • A QR code (corona certificate) is required for entry into most places (bars, restaurants, cafés, theatres, etc.)
  • Working from home is still advised as much as possible.
  • Face masks are to be worn by everyone above the age of 13 in public transport. Those who fail to wear a mask will be fined €95, but it will not affect their criminal record. 

Other measures

In addition to the national measures in place, municipalities can also implement their own measures.

What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?

If you do have symptoms you should self-quarantine. If you have a fever or a cough, you and your housemates should stay home for 72 hours after the symptoms have stopped. You should also get a coronavirus test (see next section).

Have groceries and other essentials delivered or dropped off by friends or family. If you have no choice but to go outside with symptoms, wear a face mask so you don’t risk infecting other people.

How to get a coronavirus test in the Netherlands

You can receive a coronavirus test if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or if you have any coronavirus symptom(s).

First, you must call 0800-1202, or make an appointment online using your DigiD. Then, if deemed necessary, they will refer you to a testing centre. Some test locations are only accessible by car.

You must stay at home until it is time to go to your appointment. Then, you have to bring your ID and confirmation of your appointment with you. A staff member will collect a mucus sample from your throat and nose using a cotton swab. This can be uncomfortable, but shouldn’t hurt. It normally takes up to two days to get your results.

READ MORE | Your top 10 coronavirus testing questions in the Netherlands, answered

If you test positive, the local health centre will undertake source and contact tracing to identify anyone you may have been in contact with.

Rapid tests are available from Dutch pharmacies and supermarkets. Students can sometimes order free rapid tests from their university.

What can I do to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands?

It’s not just up to the government: we all need to do our share to slow the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands. Here are some tips for how you can help out:

  • download the CoronaMelder app to assist in contact tracing.
  • avoid crowded areas,
  • keep a safe distance from other people and when outside,
  • avoid touching your face, especially the T-area where your nose and eyes are.
  • if coughing or sneezing, do so in your elbows,
  • avoid handshakes and kissing people three times on the cheeks.

Should I avoid public transport in the Netherlands because of COVID-19?

Virologists suggest that you should be extra vigilant about taking public transport.

If you really need to go somewhere, then take public transport. Just make sure you stay at a safe distance from other people, that you do not touch your face after touching objects outside (such as handles in the tram), and that you wash your hands with soap as soon as you get back home.

A face mask is compulsory on public transport. You can be fined €95 if you don’t wear one.

If you’re in a risk group, don’t take public transport. And of course, if you’re sick just stay at home.

Can I get vaccinated if I live in the Netherlands?

If you are registered as a resident of the Netherlands with your municipality, you will be invited for a coronavirus vaccination. This is regardless of whether or not you have a Dutch passport.

READ MORE | How do I get my jab invite? Dutch vaccination process for internationals explained

I’m stressed about coronavirus in the Netherlands, help!

While the coronavirus is something to be taken seriously, there is also no need to overreact, panic excessively, or compulsively buy toilet paper.

Odds are that even if you do get the coronavirus, you will not die, nor will you have a severe form of it. So unless you are very old or already have dangerous pre-existing conditions, you will probably not have a terrible case.

In fact, statistically, the majority of people don’t need hospitalisation and fully recover.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19 from the officials?

The official source for information on coronavirus in the Netherlands is RIVM (Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment).

The most up-to-date information can be found on the RIVM website. This article is also constantly updated with the most current information.

Follow DutchReview on Facebook for more information about coronavirus in the Netherlands.

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

29 COMMENTS

  1. According to several respected sites (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/netherlands/, https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3exv1Ep6vsgSOqwNu7Y1DVM4aT0SXL02ZLje0eIModx5LSTockb7xpDyM#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6) which get their information directly from the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health
    and the Environment, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport), the rate of recovery in the Netherlands is far lower than any other country. While I have heard that this is due to the Dutch reporting methods, it still does not explain this: Cases which had an outcome: 437; Recovered: 3; Deaths: 434. Are we really experiencing a 99% death rate for this virus?

    • ‘Outcome’ presumably refers to either death or recovery. In other words, there are many people infected who have not yet ‘made it out’ either way. But the great majority will recover. That seems to be the difference in the reporting method.

    • I follow the same site and I’ve been wondering something similar since almost 3 weeks ago and that is the difference in cases vs mortality in NL compared to Belgium and Germany. I also asked in Quora NL about it (https://nl.quora.com/Hoe-komt-dat-de-sterftekans-in-Nederland-percentage-wise-veel-hoger-ligt-dan-buurlanden-Duitsland-en-Belgi%C3%AB-Heeft-dat-mee-te-maken-met-de-kwaliteit-van-de-gezondheidszorg-in-NL-of-er-zijn-andere-redenen).
      Nowadays, if you want to talk about it percentage-wise, it comes down to amount of testing and ICU beds (Germany has 29.2 per 100.000 inhabitants and the Netherlands only 6.4) and GE still tests as much as possible and NL, already for almost 2 weeks, mainly the very sick and very old. Also, to my knowledge -I’ve lived in this country for 31 years), the healthcare system here is subpar to Germany and Belgium (I’ve chosen from the beginning to compare NL to its neighbours since there should be more similarities than discrepancies, you would think). Two times I have had to go back to my own country (Chile) for testing and treatment since my own experience here is that they are behind not only in knowledge about medicine but also equipment.
      And what I read recently about doctors thinking about asking older corona patients if they want care in a hospital or at home…that’s basically asking them if they rather stay home and just die since they are old and ill. They do stretch the meaning of palliative care in this country, I saw this with my father in law couple years ago. They were very eager to put him out of misery instead of trying treatment, he was not even 80.
      So…now trying to answer your questions. They don’t really track the people that recover, but that’s sloppy if people have been treated in a hospital (don’t they keep track of the people discharged?). The ratio cases/deaths is high due to minimal testing and testing only critical cases (leaving aside hospital staff). But on the other hand GE has almost 84 million people, NL little over 17 million. GE has 433 deaths at this moment, NL has 639….think about that.

    • If the measures do not have a statistically significant effect they should be abandoned. Where do we see the related analysis?

  2. I do not think keeping takeaway shops open is such a good idea, netherlands is one of the countries with quite a few deaths, even though its not as bad as italy or spain, it can get out of control really quickly.

  3. In fact during the next weeks you´ll see the big expansion of Corono Virus in the Netherlands. It´s a question of time. Soon I will eat my shit words about European Southern countries.

  4. I must be the unluckiest person in the Netherlands because in my neighbourhood not even 10% of Dutch people keep the official 1.5 m safe distance. The aforementioned 99% sounds like a joke (or a dream, it depends on the point of view). Dutch people are unaware of the situation. I keep seeing groups gathering, birthday celebrations with more than 10 children together and the corresponding number of parents… I guess this is a government’s trick to clean up the economy by eliminating the elderly.

  5. Unlike Dani’s comment. I feel that the Dutch People are keeping there distance here in Soesterberg in the Netherlands. Although very young children have been seen playing together in neighborhood playgrounds, this seems to have been rectified.
    We have to keep business going with a mitigated risk as well as isolating those who are subject to heightened mortality! The problem with the UK and America is that they just don’t have the Medical resources to cope with the onslaught. The Netherlands is nearing capacity, but thing are no were near exponentially increasing and it’s become more linear in the last few days.
    So we don’t need to be so critical of the Netherlands, they are rule breaker (Just don’t be rule breaker i there society 😉 ) and they are well educated in statistics and science!

    • Hello everyone, i lived and worked in De Netherlands for over 10 years but now live back in the uk. I have a very special place in my heart for the Dutch people. Anyway I will get back to what I want to say about covid-19 this horrible virus.I have read all your comments and find that everyone around the world all have one thing in common, we all wish this virus would stop killing our people and find a cure so we can all get back to normal every day life !! What really makes me so angry is that all the governments around the world think about getting the economy up and running, why do they put money before our people’s lives!!! If we are are going to get this horrible virus under control we must forget about making money!!! We cannot try to balance money and control the virus together at the same time. We have to deal with the virus first then when we have the virus under control,no matter how long it takes even if it is 2,3,4 years then start our economies. The world leaders are so selfish. People’s lives first Economy last.if you read this please think about all the people who have lost their lives to covid-19 and please try to help others to stay safe and support them through these difficult times.

  6. Recoveries are there, but they are not centrally registered and therefore not reported. Individual hospitals do however and they report them, mostly daily to personnel. Hotspot Amphia hospital in Breda reported at a certain day cumulative 34 corona deaths and 109 recovered. So that is better.

    As far as Germany goes, they choose for much wider testing, so had many more cases reported, but also many with few symptoms. As Germans are very good at registering they reported also the very many recoveries of light cases. As Ge now has many more more severe cases, their number of deaths has now overtaken that of the Netherlands. In time their numbers will increass more, reflecting the size of their bigger population.

    Last factor, coronadeaths where corona was not tested do not count as corona deaths. Statistical analysis of deaths in march till now suggest a doubling of reported corona deaths is likely.

  7. What sort of lockdown are we in!!
    Live in Enschede where you can still go clothes shopping, shoe shopping, even underwear shopping and plenty more
    They pass you a wipe from a cheap pack
    Where the shops are full of people
    Even Germans. (Lockdown)
    They even set up the small market stall yesterday fml
    Dutch are not on no lockdown…
    one thing thou. 3 people or more in the car you get slapped with a 400 euro fine
    Says it all about what the Dutch government is doing ( all about the money)

  8. I live in Koudekerk aan den Rijn (near Leiden). I phoned the doctor 3 weeks and 2 days ago. The bottom line was: “No fever, no dangerously short breath… no appointment, no test”.

    I went through hell since then. Strange that I never had a fever, but the list of symptoms was/is as follows: Chills (like a fever, but not a fever), Sore throat comes and goes, Dry cough (but not a constant cough), Severe muscle/joint pains (and what felt for like deep abdomen and lung pain for almost 3 weeks), Dizziness, and of course very weak.

    Never more than 2 symptoms at one time; most all symptoms have passed except for the severe muscle/joint pain the past 4 days. Barely a cough now. Improvement every day for the past 3 days. I am told it is possible once this pain goes away I may be in the clear.

    My point is not to complain about my experience — but to say this: If I was not allowed to see the doctor, and not allowed to be tested… then the statistics must be way off the mark! There must be literally THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE UNACCOUNTED FOR AND SIMPLY STAYED HOME AND SUFFERED THROUGH IT. Hopefully surviving it.

    But not being allowed the opportunity to be tested not only seems like a senseless health risk… but grossly unfair to those of us isolated from our families, especially the children. How many were not positive for Covid-19 yet were/are separated from their loved ones??

  9. Article keeps using some statistics but it really doesn’t seem to match reality. There are people drinking wine together in groups on canals and parties held between neighbours. When I once saw a police van going past a group of 8 students sitting together at one big table I thought they were all going to be fined. Instead, the police didn’t even slow down.
    This situation is just an opportunity for the Dutch government to kill off those whose financial input is already done. My friend’s 70y.o. father who was in hospital and had signed a form asking to be resuscitated, the next day received a call from his own GP informing the family that with all in mind, he overruled that signature..
    This is not a country of compassion but paracetamol induced incredible indifference.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I have to add, that even allowing fewer people in the supermarkets is not the solution. The most dangerous people are the supermarket employees. Yes, they wear a nice t-shirt that says “keep a 1.5 m distance”, but they are the first that walk close to customers all the time. In conclusion, Dutch people are terrible at following rules or they just think that 30-40 cm is 1.5 m. The only solution is a better upbringing, but that takes years.

  10. Why have the Dutch stopped reporting their “Recovered” data?
    Probably the most important metric.
    I seem to think that this was was reported daily until recently.
    Why the change?

  11. This country has a much higher death rate than most other countries, even those with a lesser developed health system. Why is it so bad??

    • This is for a lot of reasons
      – there is more elderly in netherlands than less developed countries
      – not all countries report accurate data
      – developed countries have more tests per capita
      – different countries have different death parameters like if you are in the US if you die due to a brain injury and you happen to test positive for covid. They would call it a covid death.

  12. I have plan to study abroad in the Netherlands at September, so I’m really worried about the Covid-19 pandemic. May everyone tell me about Holland’s situation right now ??? That help me so much , thanks you !!!

    • Holland can’t get their shit together. They are one of the slowest to react and take measures and now the slowest to recover. It’s not a nice situation here in Holland. In my opinion the government was so occupied by their scandals that they didn’t take care of its people. And the medical system here is shameful for a developed country in the European Union. I don’t think you will get Corona virus if hats what you are afraid of- but you won’t have a very enjoyable semester abroad due to most things closed, universities only attending one day a week etc. the beauty of studying abroad is to experience the place for what it is, language, culture and customs. You will not be experiencing that here at this time. People are cranky, closed off and not interested in outsiders.

  13. Hello everyone,

    How is situation currently? As I am informed, measures are relaxed, except transport wearing mask is not mandatory. Businesses has started to gather employees into offices.

    It seems like covid19 free zone? Is it safe, is process for treating covid19 infected people good – fast – effective ?

  14. Nee, het is is niet veilig, ik weet niet of in het Engels of Nederlands te schrijven —— eidereen doet zo in Engels zo daT MOET HET ZIJN. I gather that you must pay for a lateral flow test in the Netherlandsuntil a few months ago thy were free in the Uk, you got them free from the chemist. Even though the Dutch don’t have as many cases as the UK I would warn them of being too liberal about thinking its all over. It is not look at the poor record of the UK, just crazy, few measures in place to prevent spread of the virus. So, its up to your personal choice whether or not to wear a mask but if i see someone not wearing one I keep well away and there are plenty not earing them. The UK government has been lack lustre in its response and just think if people have been vaccinated they won’t die, well they will and plenty have and still will. Will anything ever be the same again.

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