At the most recent press conference it was announced that the Dutch government sees a date in sight when the Netherlands may potentially officially cease the 1.5 metre social distancing regulations and also the moment where a return to a "new normal" may occur.
The takeaway points from the last set of revised regulations are:
- Over 22 million vaccinations have been administered in the Netherlands;
- The government has only decided to abandon the 1.5 metre vaccination distance with a step-by-step approach:
- From 30 August onwards, the 1.5 metre distance has no longer applied in tertiary education.
- There are regulations regarding a maximum group size of 75 and use of face masks outside the (seated) classrooms or lecture halls to remain in place.
- All other existing measures will be extended until 19 September.
- On 17 September, the Kabinet will decide whether it is a responsible choice to take the next step.
- In the catering/hospitality industry, a fixed seat will still be required and the closing time remains at midnight. Live entertainment and big screens are still not allowed. Nightclubs and discos remain closed.
- The corona regulations for events will also be extended. The extension of the Garantieregeling Evenementen and the additional compensation for events will be extended until 19 September.
- The advice to work at home as much as possible and to avoid travelling during rush hour remains in place.
- If it is decided to cease social distancing regulations from 20 September onwards, the hospitality industry, events (such as festivals and spectators at sports events) and art and cultural events (such as in cinemas and theatres) will have to use coronatoegangsbewijzen (corona admission tickets) if more than 75 people are present.
- This applies indoors and outdoors, with or without a fixed seat.
- Patrons will be issued a coronatoegangsbewijs if they have been fully vaccinated, have a valid recovery certificate or a negative test result that is no more than 24 hours old.
- At a date yet to be determined, testing for a coronatoegangsbewijs will no longer be free, but a fee will be charged.
- The aim is to have the coronatoegangsbewijs (for use in the Netherlands) and the other remaining restrictions to lapse on 1 November.
- If residents haven't made an appointment yet, they can get vaccinated against the coronavirus without an appointment at a number of GGD vaccination locations. On Prikkenzonderafspraak.nl residents can see where in their neighbourhood one can arrange their first vaccination right away.
The basic rules remain important, even for those who have already been vaccinated. Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres, wash hands, cough and sneeze in the elbow, stay at home and get tested in case of symptoms and make sure there is fresh air in indoor areas regularly.
A high vaccination rate does not mean that the coronavirus is completely gone. The virus continues to circulate, even in the Netherlands. New variants may emerge. It is therefore important that everyone gets tested when experiencing symptoms, even if they have already been vaccinated. That way, we can keep track of the virus and any new outbreaks will be detected in time.All this information and more can be found in English at the Rijksoverheid’s website