We here at DutchReview hoped our evenings of huddling behind our home desks watching the birth and growth of Hugo de Jonge’s beard were a thing of the past.
Perhaps there would be one or two more press conferences that would be summarised as “we’re done!” and “bye-rona!” but we were ultimately finished with announcing the latest measures.
But oh — we were so naive.
Tonight, following the sharp rise in coronavirus infections throughout the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, have returned to the podium with new coronavirus restrictions in hand.
Six new measures will apply as of Saturday November 6. Let’s run through them.
Face masks are making a strong comeback
The wearing of a face mask will once again be mandatory in public indoor spaces such as town halls and shops as well as in contact professions such as hairdressers.
However, if the indoor space has a setup where you can show a corona pass QR code (like for a special event), you will not have to wear a mask.
Stricter use of corona pass — now needed on terraces
The use of corona passes will also increase. Many of us have grown used to showing our QR-codes before enjoying an indoor meal at a restaurant — but many of us have also gotten used to the fact that we’re sometimes simply not asked to.
The Dutch government wants to crack down on this and bring in stricter regulations regarding the use of a corona pass. What will this look like?
As of Saturday, anyone who wishes to enjoy a coffee or biertje on the terrace will also be required to show a corona pass QR code. Up until now, this was only required when sitting indoors.
Starting this Saturday it will also be obligated to show your QR-code at the gym and at amateur sports, even the spectators, when ages of 18 and over are participating.
QR codes may be asked in other venues and the workplace
The future may also see further expansion of the use of corona passes. The Dutch government is considering taking legislative action to include the corona pass check process in other public venues such as zoos, higher education, middle-level applied education and also the workplace. 🏫
Speaking on this, De Jonge pointed out that if you are going to ask hospitality to request QR-codes from guests, you should also ask employers to request QR-codes from their staff. However, this will not be an obligation.
If this does become a reality, it won’t be anytime soon. De Jonge pointed out that the process of doing this is a long one and a decision on all of this will be taken on November 12.
A return to the home office
We hope you haven’t converted your makeshift at-home office back to its original state just yet. The Dutch cabinet is once again urging people to work from home as much as possible and at least half of the time.
This comes as no surprise given that more and more people in the Netherlands are contracting coronavirus at the office.
1.5 metre is also back
During the last press conference, we were told that 1.5-metre distancing was no longer a basic rule — but guess who’s back?
Rutte has asked that everyone start following the basic rules again. Sneeze into your elbow, limit your movement if you have symptoms and keep your distance from others. As often with the Dutch government, it’s urgent advice, not a hard rule.
Booster shots will be offered to all
A third booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine will be offered to everyone in the Netherlands once it has been received by over 60s. This process will begin in December.
De Jonge made a plea once again to those who are still unvaccinated to receive the vaccine.
Prime minister Rutte also made a plea to all residents of the Netherlands. “Our own behaviour remains crucial,” he said, “that makes or breaks the entire corona approach.”
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Feature Image: Screenshot/Press Conference