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 a year later, and the third wave is hitting hard.

THE LATEST | Weekly update: infections drop but no new relaxations expected

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

Current figures COVID-19: April 27 – May 4, 2021

Total confirmed cases of coronavirus  to date:


(+52,087 in last week)

Total deaths in the Netherlands to date


(+128 in last week)

Hospitalisations to date


(+1,633 in last week)

Last updated: 15:27, May 4, 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?

Current measures in effect


  • Primary schools, daycare centres, and out of school care are fully open.
  • Secondary schools and MBOs are open. Each pupil should be able to attend in person one day per week. A few exceptions apply, such as when undergoing exams.
  • Universities and HBOs are open for one day a week.


  • Retail may now reopen to a limited number of customers. Customers no longer have to book an appointment in order to shop. Limitations are in place as to how many people may visit: one person per 25m2 of space, meaning that multiple people may be allowed on one floor at any given time as long as they can have 25m2 of space each. There is a maximum of 50 people at a time.
  • Contact professions have reopened. This includes hairdressers, beauticians, masseurs, and driving instructors. Sex workers may not conduct business. Medical professionals such as dentists and dermatologists may continue to work.
  • Bars, restaurants, and cafés are allowed to open terraces between 12 PM and 6 PM. A maximum of two people from different households are allowed at one table, more people can sit at a table if they are from one household. A maximum number of 50 people are allowed per terrace.

Public locations

  • Hotels remain open, although they may no longer serve food and drinks to their guests. Libraries may also remain open but only for checking out and returning books.

Groups of people

  • The recommended maximum number of visitors at home is two per day.
  • Outside, the maximum group size is two people from different households, not including children under the age of 13.
  • The number of people allowed to attend a funeral is 100.
  • The number of people allowed to attend a wedding is 30.

Sports and outdoor activities

  • Outdoor group sports are allowed. You are allowed to exercise outdoors at sports centres in groups of no more than four. Competitions are still not allowed.
  • Gyms and saunas are closed. An exception will be made for children up to and including the age of 12 who need swimming lessons. You may still go outside for fresh air and exercise. Any outdoor activities should be performed solo as much as possible.


  • Do not travel abroad unless absolutely necessary. Domestic travel is still 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 high-risk country are required to show a negative test result. A mandatory quarantine upon arrival to the Netherlands applies as of May 15.
  • All flights from India, South Africa, and various countries in Central and South America are banned. This excludes medical travel, repatriating Dutch citizens, and cargo.

Work from home

  • The cabinet has reiterated very firm advice to “work from home at all times.”

One week before the measures are set to expire, the cabinet will announce how they intend to move forward.

Below are the standard measures that are additionally in effect:

Current measures

  • After 8 PM, alcohol and weed will be banned from consumption in public spaces. 
  • Events are banned, from festivals to neighbourhood barbecues.
  • Face masks are to be worn by everyone above the age of 13 in public sectors. Those who fail to wear a mask inside public spaces will be fined €95 but it will not affect their criminal record. 

The government has listed some minor exceptions to the rules.

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.

Some rapid tests are available from Dutch pharmacies, but these are in short supply and not intended for everyday use.

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.

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


  1. According to several respected sites (, 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 (
      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??

  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 !!!


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