Coronavirus: Here’s what you can and can’t do from Monday in the Netherlands

Since the Dutch government announced over a month ago the gradual lifting of the lockdown measures, residents in the Netherlands have been waiting anxiously for June 1.

On Monday, sectors across the country will begin the ‘new normal’ in the biggest lifting of restrictions to date.

The basic measures will still apply: wash your hands, keep 1.5 metres distance from people outside your household, work from home as much as possible, and stay at home if you have symptoms.

This is what you can expect from June 1:

Cafes, bars, restaurants, and terraces reopen

While many dining and drinking areas converted to takeaway options in the months of lockdown, from Monday you can enjoy a meal in a restaurant, or a drink on a terrace again. However, it’s still subject to heavy restrictions:

  • Guests must remain 1.5 metres away from each other, even while seated unless they are from the same household.
  • A maximum of 30 people (including staff) are allowed in the building.
  • All guests must be able to sit at a table.
  • An employee will ask you a series of health questions.
  • Reservations are required, even to sit on a terrace.
  • Terraces have no maximum number of guests, as long as they can maintain the 1.5-metre distance between tables.
  • You can dine with one other person who is not from your household.

Additional information: Rijksoverheid

Public transport resumes normal schedule

Trains, buses, and trams will all resume their normal schedules from June 1 — but public transport companies strongly request passengers only use it for essential travel. And while face masks were encouraged in the past weeks, from Monday they will be mandatory — you will not be able to enter transport with one. The following requirements will be in place:

  • Mouth masks mandatory on all public transport for everyone over the age of 13.
    • You can be fined €95 if you do not wear a mask.
    • You are not required to wear the mask inside stations and on platforms.
  • Board buses by the back door to avoid contact with the driver. If you need a ticket purchase it beforehand at a service desk or shop. Otherwise travel with an OV chip card as much as possible.
  • Ticket checks will avoid hand-to-hand contact with inspectors. Instead, hold your own ticket/telephone in front of the ticket reader.
  • Travellers are requested to pay with pin cards for their tickets when purchasing at a service desk or shop. If necessary, cash is still accepted.

Additional information: 9292

Museums, cinemas, and theatres allowed to reopen

These venues will be permitted to open again from midday, June 1. In addition to social distancing measures, the following rules apply:

  • Museums: you must have a reservation in advance. Tickets can typically be booked online at the relevant museums website. The maximum number of people allowed inside is dependent on the individual venue.
  • Theatres, cinemas, concert halls: there is a maximum of 30 visitors in each location. Tickets must be booked in advance.
  • For both, an employee will ask you a series of health questions.

Additional information: Rijksoverheid

Testing opens to everyone with symptoms

A major criticism of the Dutch government has been the relaxed approach to testing. Only those with severe symptoms were tested, while healthcare employees could only begin testing earlier this month. However, from June 1 anyone with mild symptoms will be able to be tested. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Anyone with mild coronavirus symptoms, including loss of smell or taste, will be able to be tested.
  • Those wanting to be tested must phone a national hotline first to make an appointment.
  • Contact tracing will begin for positive tests.

Additional Information: Rijksoverheid

Outdoor sports activities for under 18s resume

Currently, only children aged 12 and under can take part in organized sports activities outdoors without keeping their distance. From Monday, those aged 13-18 will be able to recommence under the following restrictions:

  • They must under the supervision of sports clubs of professionals.
  • Competitions and matches are prohibited.

High schools reopen (from June 2)

Secondary students will be able to return to school from Tuesday under the following requirements:

  • The distance of 1.5 metres is maintained at all times between students and teaching staff.
  • Not all students will go to school each day.
  • Teachers schedules are designed to limit movement between classes as much as possible.
  • Students are encouraged not to use public transport, but bike or walk. Special arrangements are made for students who live more than eight kilometres from school.

Additional Information: Rijksoverheid

What are the next steps for the Netherlands?

If things go well, measures will continue to relax. The current government roadmap specifies the following:

From July 1:

  • Group activities with up to 100 people can take place. These include weddings, funerals, and so forth.
  • Camping sites can reopen, and communal showers and toilets can be used again.
  • Gyms, fitness centres, saunas, spas, clubhouses, casinos, and amusement arcades can reopen.

From September 1:

  • A decision will be made about whether festivals and other public gatherings can continue on this date.

Are you looking forward to the lifting of measures? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Artem Beliaikin/Pexels

Avatar
Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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