Mandatory social distancing is back — and fines along with it

With the Netherlands hitting a record number of new infections in one week, the Dutch government has decided to reinstitute the 1,5 metres rule.

Starting today, the streetscape will once again be dominated by stickers reminding you to keep anderhalve meters afstand (one and a half metres distance). As social distancing goes from being urgent advice to a mandatory measure, not adhering will get you a €95 fine, reports NU.nl.

The new measure was announced by the cabinet yesterday “to reduce the sharp increase in the number of corona infections and to prevent further overload on healthcare.”

Exceptions

Unlike last year’s strict measures, this round of social distancing is subject to a (greater) number of exceptions.

You don’t have to keep 1,5 metres distance from your housemates, spouse, children, or anyone else you may share an address with. (Unless you really want to of course. 🤷‍♀️)

READ MORE | Privacy violation: camera cars used to track lockdown breakers

In addition, social distancing isn’t mandatory in places where corona tickets apply. So, if you’ve shown your QR code, you’re fine we guess. Higher and secondary education are also exempt from the rule along with contact professionals, such as hairdressers.

Just don’t forget to bring your mask. 😷

Shops and police need time to adjust

A spokesperson from the trade association INretail tells NU.nl that retailers will adhere to the new measure but need time to set up. Reinstituting the 1,5 metres mandate overnight hasn’t exactly left shops much time to haul in stickers, reorganise aisles, and plan out walking routes. 😅

Although INretail has urged its members to uphold social distancing for weeks, you may see some shops struggling with the new measures today. According to the spokesperson, getting everything ready is especially a challenge for businesses with multiple or large stores.

Similarly, the president of the police union ACP says that due to current “understaffing” law enforcement won’t be able to properly enforce the 1,5 metres distancing immediately. Eventually, he hopes to have more people to enforce the measures. 

What do you think of mandatory social distancing? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: kiko_jimenez/Depositphotos

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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