The Netherlands confirmed its first infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on February 27, 2020. For the fourth time in the two-year pandemic, the Netherlands will attempt to remove most of the restrictions in place in the hope that society can resume normal life again. These changes will occur in three stages.
The decision was announced by Health Minister Ernst Kuipers at a press conference on Tuesday. What’s different this time around is that the Netherlands is still dealing with an extremely high number of coronavirus infections on a daily basis, although there is evidence to suggest the peak has passed. Despite the high number of infections, there has not been a dramatic increase in hospitalizations due to Covid-19, and the recent increase in new hospitalizations was far from the pessimistic scenarios evoked several months ago.
While hospitalizations have started to rise over the past two weeks, there has not been an increased need to treat patients in intensive care units. Indeed, fewer than 200 patients have been present in intensive care for several days now, with the level of intensive care patients remaining close to the lowest point since the end of October.
Coronavirus rules change on February 15, 2022
- The number of home visitors will no longer be limited to four.
- Relaxed work from home tips to allow people to go to the office part time.
Coronavirus rules change on February 18, 2022
- All businesses and organisations, including bars, cafes, restaurants, theaters and cinemas, can stay open until 1am.
- Face masks will only be required at events attended by more than 500 people, on public transport and at airports.
- Allocated seats will only be required for events attended by more than 500 people.
- Maintaining a safe social distance of 1.5 meters will only be required at events attended by more than 500 people.
- People who test positive for the coronavirus must self-isolate for at least five days and can leave isolation when asymptomatic for 24 hours.
- Classrooms at research universities, universities of applied sciences and higher professional schools can return to full capacity.
- Primary and secondary schools can eliminate one-way routes and allow students from different groups to interact with each other.
- Parents and guardians can enter primary and secondary schools with a face mask. Social distancing will still be in effect.
- School teams can resume in-person meetings.
Coronavirus rules change on February 25, 2022
- All businesses and organizations can resume their normal opening hours.
- Coronavirus passes will only be required to enter indoor areas frequented by more than 500 people and where there is no assigned seat. These passes will only be generated for those who test negative for coronavirus infection.
- No coronavirus passes will be required to enter a lounge or conference.
- Face masks will only be required on public transport and at airports.
- Rules mandating assigned seating at indoor events will be removed.
- Rules mandating social distancing at indoor events will be removed.
- Quarantine will not be required when entering the Netherlands from another country, unless a concerning new variant of the coronavirus emerges.
Current coronavirus advice remaining beyond February 25, 2022
- Anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 should stay home until they can get tested by the GGD.
- A coronavirus self-test should be used before visiting another household or location.
- Students are strongly advised to self-test twice a week. This applies to primary school pupils in group 6 or above, secondary school pupils, vocational training pupils and higher education pupils.
- People should wash their hands frequently.
- Anyone who coughs or sneezes should do so into their elbow.
- The handshake is strongly discouraged.
- Indoor public spaces should be well ventilated.
- Homes should be well ventilated when guests are present.
- People should keep a safe social distance in crowded places.
- People should continue to wear a face mask in public indoor spaces, crowded areas, or unventilated areas.