Corona update

MARCH 2022

As of 23 March 2022 most measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 across the Netherlands are no longer in place, however a number still remain. Some are requirements and some are guidance issued by the Rijksoverheid and the RIVM. The most up-to-date information on measures can be found in English on the government.nl website.

Further information about travelling to the Netherlands with regard to Covid-19 measures can be found on the reizentijdenscorona.nl website. The Corona Dashboard is still providing current figures on infection rates and hospital admissions across the Netherlands.

The basic hygiene guidance remains the same: wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow or a disposable tissue, maintain good ventilation and if you have symptoms, get tested.

FEBRUARY 2022

Minister for Health Ernst Kuipers opened the press conference held in Den Haag on Tuesday 15 February with "Het land gaat weer open" (the country is opening up again).

Rijksoverheid stated: “Covid-19 infection rates are high, and many people are self-isolating or self-quarantining at home. But despite the high number of cases, hospital admissions remain stable. We are more resistant to the virus due to vaccinations, booster shots and acquired immunity. So the Netherlands is going to open up. Not all at once, but in 3 stages. Each stage is a big step towards full reopening, and the steps will follow each other in rapid succession.”

JANUARY 2022

Premier Rutte and new Health Minister Kuipers gave a press conference this week in Den Haag to announce the revision of Covid measures in the Netherlands. The strategy at present is to open most locations in the Netherlands and relax some measures concerning quarantine, despite the rising numbers of infections.

UPDATE: Please note that the translated press statement below mentions the next date for review as 08 March 2022. It was however discussed during the press conference that there will be a review of these relaxed measures within three weeks (15 February 2022) when there might be a shorter press moment. We will keep you informed.

"Most venues in our country may reopen under certain conditions on Wednesday 26 January. Besides shops, education, sports clubs, arts and culture and contact professions such as hairdressers, from tomorrow onwards, the hospitality industry, cinemas, theatres, museums, concert halls, zoos and amusement parks will also open their doors. In addition, club sports matches against other clubs are allowed again and spectators are welcome at all sports events. There is also a relaxation of the quarantine advice for children up to the age of 18.

The number of Covid infections is high, many people are in isolation or quarantine at home. The number of infections is expected to rise as a result of these relaxations. Yet the Kabinet has decided that, despite the risks and uncertainties, this major step can be taken responsibly. This is because living with measures that limit our daily lives for even longer will also damage our health and society.

On Tuesday 8 March, the Kabinet will again decide whether more is possible.

General measures and advice

  • A general opening time applies to all locations from 05:00 to 22:00.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres everywhere.
  • Do not receive more than 4 people aged 13 and over at home per day.
  • Visit no more than once a day.
  • Are you visiting or going to a busy place with lots of people? Then do a self-test.
  • A face mask obligation (from age 13) applies in and around public transport, and in indoor public places like shops, museums, cinemas and restaurants. In cinemas, theatres and the hospitality industry, the face mask can be removed when you are seated.
  • Wherever it is not possible to keep a distance of 1.5 metres, you are advised to wear a face mask, even outside. For example, in busy shopping streets. 
  • In all indoor public areas, such as restaurants, theatres and cinemas, a permanent seat is required.
  • A coronatoegangsbewijs (Covid QR code) is compulsory for everyone aged 13 and over in, for example, the hospitality industry, theatres and concert halls, museums, indoor sports venues, cinemas, zoos, amusement parks, saunas and casinos.
  • At flow-through locations, such as a museum, a maximum of 1 visitor per 5m2 applies, up to a maximum of 1,250 people per room.
  • At assigned-seat locations, the maximum number of visitors is 100% of the maximum capacity at 1.5 metres. This is approximately 1/3 of the regular capacity.
  • For sports, events, art and culture, a maximum of 1,250 persons per room applies. • Events without assigned seating, such as festivals, are not yet permitted.
  • Large events (with more than 1,250 visitors) with permanent seating are only permitted outside.
  • The home working advice is: Work at home. If that is not possible, always keep a distance of 1.5 metres at work.

Quarantine
The quarantine advice has changed.

You no longer have to go into quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive AND you have no symptoms AND:

  • you are a child or pupil in childcare, primary or secondary education; OR
  • are a senior secondary or tertiary vocational student under the age of 18; OR
  • have agreed with your employer that you are an employee in an essential business process and that you meet the requirements; OR
  • you had a booster shot more than one week ago OR
  • you tested positive less than 8 weeks ago.

For anyone with symptoms, the rules remain:

  • Stay at home and do a self-test immediately.
  • If the result of the self-test is positive, have yourself tested at the GGD (municipal health authority) as soon as possible.
  • If the result of the self-test is positive, go into self-isolation at home.
  • In all situations, you are advised to avoid contact with the elderly and vulnerable until 10 days after the last contact with someone with Covid.

After almost 2 years of experience with Covid, we have learned how difficult it is to deal with measures that restrict our daily lives, and with relaxations. Nobody wants the reopening to have to be reversed in a few weeks' time. That is why we must continue to pay attention and help each other to comply with the general measures and advice that still apply, because that is the only way we can move forward together."

As always, if there are any points that our followers require clarification on or if there are any specific concerns, please do not hesitate to contact NewsinEnglish via direct message on any of our social media channels. We will do our best to have your questions answered.

Source: NewsinEnglish

NOVEMBER 2021

A press conference was held in Den Haag on Friday 12 November by Premier Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. They announced the reintroduction of regulations being implemented from 18:00 on Saturday 13 November. The next three weeks are being viewed as a “partial lockdown” with non-essential shops to close at 18:00 and food and drink venues and essential shops to close at 20:00.

“The measures are aimed at reducing the number of contact moments per day. Daily life during the day (school, work, sport, etc.) will continue as much as possible, while in the evening the number of contact moments will be more limited. These measures will come into effect on Saturday 13 November at 18:00 and will apply at least until Saturday 4 December. The situation will be reassessed on Friday 3 December.”

For detailed information on the measures being introduced go to government.nl which is the Rijksoverheid’s government website in English. For detailed information on infection levels and hospital admissions, go to the Corona Dashboard.

OCTOBER 2021

Further information about travelling to the Netherlands with regard to Covid-19 measures can be found on the reizentijdenscorona.nl website. The Corona Dashboard is still providing current figures on infection rates and hospital admissions across the Netherlands. The basic hygiene guidance remains the same: wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow or a disposable tissue, maintain good ventilation and if you have symptoms, get tested.

Coronatoegangsbewijs (corona access pass) for extra security

The coronatoegangsbewijs is being used at those locations where it will become busier by abandoning the mandatory 1.5-metre distance. In this way, the risk of contamination is kept as low as possible and everyone can get together as safely as possible. In addition, the use of the coronatoegangsbewijs contributes to keeping most locations open at maximum capacity.

From 25 September, in all catering establishments (except take-away restaurants), at events (such as festivals, performances, parties and audiences at professional sports events) and when showing art and culture (such as in cinemas and theatres), access will only be possible with a coronatoegangsbewijs for everyone aged 13 or older. This applies inside and outside, with or without a fixed seat. From the age of 14, the use of the coronatoegangsbewijs must be verified together with the identity document. In Maastricht the use of a polsbandje (wristband) has been implemented where the patrons only have to show their coronatoegangsbewijs once, and the polsbandje that they receive is valid for that evening, where they can enter and exit bars and cafés as often as they like. The compulsory closing time between 00:00 and 06:00 is maintained in all catering establishments.

The Dutch government will review the situation and there is likely to be another press conference in early November to provide an update on hospital admissions, vaccination rates and any further relaxation of regulations.


Visiting the Netherlands and attending an activity

EU citizens who have been fully vaccinated can obtain an EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) and use it to enter the Netherlands. If you do not have a DCC and/or are a resident of a country outside the EU and the Schengen area, you can in most cases enter the Netherlands using paper proof of vaccination.

> Read more


Getting proof of vaccination after being vaccinated outside the Netherlands

Getting proof of vaccination may be more difficult for some people because they have been vaccinated outside the Netherlands, for example. Here you can find further information on what to do if you are in that situation.

> Read more


What is a coronavirus certificate?

Known in Dutch as coronabewijs or CTB, a coronavirus certificate can be one of three things:

  • Proof of vaccination (with a vaccine recognised / approved by the EMA)
  • Proof of recovery from COVID-19 (within the last 180 days)
  • A negative coronavirus test (max. 24 hours old)

If you’re vaccinated or recently recovered, you won’t be required to present a negative test result.

Self-tests will not be recognised as valid test results. As long as the rule remains in place, COVID-19 tests will remain free to the public.

How can I access my coronabewijs?

While the rule may be new, the technology that supports the system was actually launched before the summer - and many people will likely already have used a so-called coronavirus certificate, whether it was to attend an event here in the Netherlands or to travel abroad over the summer holiday.

Via the CoronaCheck app, you can generate your vaccination or recovery QR code by logging in with your DigiD. Your health / vaccination data should be automatically collected and uploaded by the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) or the GGD, but if it isn’t then you can also manually create your certificate via the app.

If you’re having to get tested in order to generate the certificate, then you will need to book a test (either with the GGD or via Testen voor Toegang). Once tested, you should receive your results within the hour via email and, if you’ve tested negative, submit the code featured in the email to the CoronaCheck app so it can be converted into a QR code.

I don’t have a smartphone - does that mean I can’t have a certificate?

Of course, the whole system is designed to be simple and easy to use for anyone who has a smartphone or access to the CoronaCheck app, but if you don’t have a mobile phone which allows you to download applications then don’t worry, you can also print out a physical certificate.

Visit coronacheck.nl and log in with your DigiD or fill in the code you received with your negative test result in order to generate a QR code. Once you’ve got the code, you can print it out and take it with you wherever you go!

I was vaccinated outside of the Netherlands / the EU - what do I do?

If you were vaccinated in another country, you will not be able to automatically generate a QR code via CoronaCheck.

If you have been fully vaccinated in the EU and have an internationally recognised QR code generated by your country of vaccination, then this will also be recognised here in the Netherlands (similarly to how Dutch vaccinations are recognised if you travel within Europe).

If you were vaccinated outside of the EU but are a Dutch citizen or resident of the Netherlands, you’ll have to register your vaccination with the RIVM. Many expats and internationals have struggled to do this, but the government has set up a system that allows you to register your vaccination in the Netherlands - it does, however, require you to travel to Utrecht.

Once you have registered your foreign vaccination, you will be able to generate your QR code in the way outlined above.

If you were vaccinated abroad but don’t have any official proof of your vaccination or if you received a vaccine not approved by the EMA, you will not be able to register your vaccination in the Netherlands - you’ll instead have to use either a certificate of recovery or a recent negative test to generate a QR code. This will also apply to any tourists vaccinated outside of the EU.

I have a certificate - do I need anything else?

The certificate is key, but it’s not the only thing you’ll need to carry with you. Everyone aged 14 and above will also be required to present valid identification - either a passport, driving licence, or ID card will work - as the information from your certificate will be checked against the details on your official ID.

How does the CoronaCheck system work?

Using a slightly different version of the CoronaCheck app, businesses will be able to scan your QR code. If you have a valid certificate (i.e. the QR code shows you're vaccinated, recovered, or negative), the app presents a green "safe" message.

The app doesn't disclose any personal details - it won't even say which kind of certificate you have. The person scanning your QR code will only be able to see your active certificate, your initials, and part of your date of birth.

Where will I need to use my coronavirus certificate?
  • Your coronavirus certificate will have to be presented at the following establishments: Restaurants / Cafes
  • Bars / Nightclubs
  • Hotels
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Concert halls
  • Events and festivals (indoor and outdoor)
  • Professional sporting events (i.e. football matches)

The rule does not apply to takeaway restaurants / cafes or to outdoor terraces (but customers will have to present their certificate in order to go inside, for example, to use the toilet).

To whom does the new rule apply? Are there any exceptions?

Everyone over the age of 13 will be required to present a coronavirus certificate. However, it is important to note that employees working at establishments where certificates are required are not obligated to provide proof of vaccination / recovery or a negative test result.

How will the rule be enforced? Who will check my certificate?

There's been much debate about who will actually be checking the certificates. Ultimately, the government has confirmed that customers will be responsible for sticking to the new rules, with each individual establishment expected to check whether customers have a valid certificate.

45 million euros has been made available for municipalities to employ additional staff members (i.e. security staff and inspectors) to assist business owners in enforcing the CTB rule. Police officers and community service officers (BOAs) will check if the rule is being enforced by business owners / events organisers, and repeatedly failing to check customers' certificates could lead to an official warning, a fine, or the establishment being shut down.

How long will the coronavirus certificate system be in place?

This remains relatively unclear, although Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge have emphasised that it will be temporary. It is possible, however, that it could remain in place until next spring.

Do any other countries use coronavirus certificates?

The Netherlands is not the first country to introduce this rule; in Europe alone, several governments have decided that using vaccination certificates or negative tests is a safe way to allow certain sectors and businesses to reopen in spite of the ongoing pandemic. Despite many protests, France introduced a similar system earlier this summer, as did Germany and Switzerland, where businesses adhere to the new 3G / 2G rule.

Source: I am Expat 


ECMR Gemeente Maastricht Corona.jpg

All this information and more can be found in English at the Rijksoverheid’s website.

Go to Rijksoverheid’s website Detailed information on Government.nl Corona Dashboard