Corona Timeline

A timeline of the restrictions I’ve been been living under during “Coronatijd”, I’ve used official sources as much as possible. The current measures are summarised on the national dashboard, where you can also find information about the levels of support and compliance for each measure – most measures have good support and compliance except limiting the number of people in your home. For that compliance is high, around 80%, but support is low, around 50%. It is a morale test.

February 2020

First cases of COVID in the Netherlands
The first official case was announced on 28 February, but there were probably cases already here in mid February. A likely source was travel to Italy.

March 2020

12 March First press conference by the government regarding Corona virus, puts some restrictions in place until at least 31 March
– stay home if you have symptoms
– work from home if you can
– no gatherings over 100 people (museums, cinemas etc close)
– universities to move to online lectures
– primary schools remain open

15 March closures announced, starting 16 March
– schools close, except for children of essential workers
– all bars, cafes, and restaurants will close, but available for takeaway/delivery
– sports clubs, gyms, sex shops, saunas and coffee shops (these sell marijuana, not coffee) to close at 6PM on 15 March
– everyone to maintain a 1.5m distance

19 March access to visit residential homes for the elderly is closed as it has become clear that they are more vulnerable to the virus.

23 March stricter measures announced, in addition to above
– stay home as much as possible, leave only for groceries, exercise, essential activities
– limit number of visitors in your home to 3
– maintain a distance of 1.5m from each other
– if you have symptoms including a fever stay home, if anyone in your household has symptoms stay home
– all gatherings prohibited except funerals or religious weddings
– open markets exempt from the gatherings rule as they are part of the food supply chain
– public transport and stores required to limit customers and maintain the 1.5m distance between customers
– close contact businesses (eg hairdressers) must close (until 6 April at least)
– holiday parks must maintain the 1.5m distance for visitors
– Mayors given powers to limit access to specific locations and to close locations to limit gathering size
– special programme in place to bring home stranded Dutch nationals

Travel to the Netherlands banned for people who were not citizens of the EU (including the UK)

May 2020

6 May Some restrictions were relaxed
– Schools to reopen on 11 May (there were some school holidays during this school closure)
– some sports is allowed – but no shared locker rooms can be used,
– contact roles can start work again, but must ensure hygiene measures
– libraries and museums can reopen but must ensure 1.5m distance
– facemasks recommended when the 1.5m distance cannot be maintained, for example on public transport, this will become compulsory from 1 June

June 2020

24 June 2020 announcement regarding restrictions that will go into effect on 1 July
– stay 1.5m apart indoors
– up to 100 people allowed in the same space indoors
– above 100 people allowed in an indoor venue if everyone makes a reservation and has a health check
– in cafes, restaurants and bars guests must have their own seat
– nightclubs remain closed to 1 September
– up to 250 people maybe in the same space outdoors
– more than 250 people allowed if everyone makes a reservation and has their own seat
– you must wear a mask on public transport (including taxis)
– if you travel by car with someone you don’t normally live with everyone must wear a facemask

July 2020

16 July non-Dutch partners allowed to enter the Netherlands to visit their partner
(there have been travel restrictions applying to various countries from the beginning based on their COVID case numbers, with requirements that people arriving in the Netherlands self-quarantine)

September 2020

On the 18 September and the 25 September regional restrictions were put in place affecting about most regions of the country

28 September additional restrictions were announced, aiming to reduce the risk of overcrowding without pushing society into lockdown.
– work from home if you can, if an infection occurs at a place of work, the workplace can be closed for 14 days
– host no more than 3 guests in your home (including garden or balcony)
– in other buildings no more than four people in a group
– number of people in one room is limited to 30 people (excluding staff)
– restaurants/bars must close by 10pm and must not accept new customers after 9pm (exception airside restaurants/bars at airports)
– sports clubhouses closed
– indoor spaces with a flow of visitors, eg museums, must use a reservation system with time slots (does not apply to retail sector
– those in contact-based professions must ask customers to provide contact details
– for outdoor activities with no continuous flow of people there is a limit of forty people (excluding staff)
– for outdoor spaces with continuous flow a maximum number of visitors per square metre applies
– sports events must be held without spectators
– advised to keep travel to a minimum

There are some exceptions to the limit of 30 people (indoors) and 40 people (outdoors)
– funerals
– indoor gatherings to ensure continued operations of an organisation, must not exceeed 100 people
– demonstrations (but no singing, chanting or shouting!)
– religious gatherings
– educational institutions
– public transport (excluding pleasure boats)
– sports events
– youth groups up to age 17
– airports
– government bodies
– international organisations of which the Netherlands is a member
– spaces with a continuous flow of visitors – BUT limit number of shoppers to ensure 1.5m distance is maintained

October 2020

13 October as numbers of cases started to rise again the government brought in new restrictions, calling it a partial lockdown.
– no more than 3 visitors per day in your own home (excluding children)
– indoor seated venues have a maximum of 30 people
– a group must not be more than 4 people
– if you are over 13 wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport
– in secondary/tertiary education institutions everyone must wear a mask outside lessons
– all bars/restaurant/cafes must close – can still provide take-away or delivery services (exceptions for hotels serving hotel guests, airside at airports and funeral locations)
– locations with a combined function must close the section that serves food
-retail stores to close no later than 8pm
– no alcohol to be sold or delivered between 8pm and 7am
– between 8pm and 7am you may not drink alcohol or have it on your person in a public space
– coffee shops may only provide a take-away service and must close at 8pm
-events are banned, except food markets, trade fairs, cinemas/theatres, sports matches or competitions, demonstrations
– Taking part in sports with no more than four people is allowed for anyone aged over 18 if they keep a distance of 1.5m. Matches and competitions are not permitted (exceptions for elite athletes)
– team sports including matches and competition is allowed for children under 18
– sports clubhouses, canteens, showers and changing rooms remain closed

November 2020

3 November the restrictions from October were extended with the addition that all venues normally opened to the public were closed – this includes museums, cinemas, swimming pools, libraries. All the fun stuff.

17 November the restrictions were altered slightly
– zoos, museums, libraries were open to the public again, but visitors musts reserve a timeslot (retail sector is excluded)
– ban on group singing, except professional singers, children under 13, as part of a religious event or as part of a demonstration
– funeral size limited to 100 people
– travel abroad should be avoided – do not book non-essential travel for dates earlier than mid-January (and holiday travel and family visits are deemed non-essential)
– if you arrive from a country with a “code orange” advisory self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival

December 2020

14 December new measures were announced to try to reduce the case numbers as the UK variant started to show up.
– only go out alone, with members of your household or with no more than 2 people
– receive no more than 2 visitors (over 13 years old) to your home per day
– public locations closed including shops (except essential shops), locations where contact-based professions are carried out eg hairdressers, theatres, restaurants, cafes, zoos etc
– hotels will be open but their restaurants will be closed and room service will be unavailable
– adults may join sports activities alone or with one other person outdoors, children under 17 may join team sport and play against teams from the same club, but only outdoors
– public transport is for essential travel only
– do not book any foreign travel until mid-March at the earliest

20 December immediate ban on flights from the UK

21 December immediate ban on flights from South Africa

24 December all arrivals by coach, train or ship will require a negative test

January 2021

12 January lockdown to continue into February, with little change except the advice not to book foreign travel until end March.

20 January a curfew is introduced, meaning that we cannot legally leave our homes between 8.30pm (changed to 9pm when implemented) and 4.30am), exceptions were possible, but often required documentation
– in the event of an emergency
– you or your pet need urgent medical assistance
– someone needs your urgent assistance
– your employer requires you to leave your home for your work
– you are travelling abroad or returning to the Netherlands
– you are travelling to or returning from a funeral
– you are travelling in connection with a summons to appear in a court procedure
– you are walking a dog on a lead, you must do this alone

There are also travel bans on flights from; Argentina, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Uruguay, the UK and Venezuela. This ban will be in place until the legislation on mandatory quarantine rules is in place. All passengers from high risk areas must provide a negative result from a COVID test performed within four hours of boarding AND a PCR test no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands AND self-quarantine for 10 days.

February 2021

2 February curfew to remain in effect until at least 2 March with some additional measures
– no more than one person aged 13 or over in your home per day
– visit no more than 1 other household per day
– only go outside alone, with members of your own household, or with one other person
– primary schools and childcare centres can reopen from 8 February
– secondary schools and tertiary education can offer practical training and exams on site
– from 10 February shops can offer “click and collect” services
– do not book non-essential international travel before 31 March – testing and self-quarantine requirements are in place

23 February some measures were relaxed slightly, by this date roughly a million Dutch people had had their first vaccine dose. We were also heading into an election.
– from 1 March secondary education to partially reopen
– from 3 March contact-based professions except sex workers can reopen, must work with reservation system, and wear masks during the appointment
– from 3 March people aged 26 and below will be able to train for sport outside, but still no competition
– from 3 March shopping by appointment becomes possible, with a number of restrictions including mask wearing by customers
– curfew remains in place until 4.30 am on 15 March, two days before the election.

March 2021

8 March slight changes announced, but pressure on the health system still seen as too high
– current measures in place until at least 30 March
– curfew in place until 4.30 am on 31 March (minimum)
– advice not to travel in place until at least 15 April
– Shops will be allowed to admit 2 customers per floor or 1 customer per 25 square metres, up to a maximum of 50 customers at a time, other shopping restrictions remain in place
– adults can participate in outdoor sports in groups of up to four people provided they maintain a distance of 1.5 m
– travel for people outside the EU remains limited
– nursing home residents who have been vaccinated can receive up to two visitors per day
– possibility of opening terraces for outdoor dining to be announced at conference in two weeks (all permits for extended terraces have been automatically renewed.).

April 2021

April 2021

13 April, no change in measures, but an announcement that there is a plan to reopen society. This is predicted on dropping numbers of hospitalisations. The date is given as 28 April, and the measures due to be lightened are the curfew, restrictions on shops, restrictions on bars/restaurants – but no specifics are given.

20 April, from 28 April there will be a reduction in measures.
– curfew is lifted
– we can have 2 visitors in our own homes (previous limit was one)
– non-essential shops can open (they’ve been open by appointment only) but must limit customer numbers to avoid crowding
– cafes and restaurants can reopen their outdoor seating, but no more than 50 people, no more than 2 people at a table (unless of the same household), customers can only go inside to pay or use the bathroom and must be masked to do so.
– funerals can have up to 100 people

26 April, ban on incoming flights from India due to new virus variants found in India.

May 2021

11 May, Indoor sports facilities to reopen and more scope for activities outdoors, indoor cultural activities possible again from 18 May.

27 May, financial support for businesses including tax deferral measures is extended.

28 May, next level of reopening scheduled for 5 June,
– includes mention of a coronapass as an option for events.
– maximum of four visitors in your home
– group size outdoors limited to four
– work from home where possible
– museums to reopen but must limit visitor numbers
– indoor venues can open with a limit of 50 people provided the 1.5m distance can be maintained, limit is 1000 for large events like arenas.
– cafes/restaurants can be open from 6am to 11pm, but everyone must have a seat and self service is not allowed.

June 2021