Minister Bruno Bruins (Medical Care), Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM (from left to right) during a press conference at which the new measures regarding the coronavirus were announced. ANP image
COVID-19 Updates – Translated outcome of the Crisis Cabinet meeting in The Hague
New measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands
These new measures take effect immediately and are in force (at least) until April 1, 2020. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Medical Care Bruno Bruins explain new measures (based on advice from the RIVM) during press gathering.
These measures are:
- For everyone in the Netherlands: stay home when experiencing cold symptoms, coughing, sore throat or fever. Avoid social contact and only get in contact with a General Practitioner (GP) when symptoms worsen.
- Gatherings of over 100 persons are to be cancelled in the entirety of the Netherlands. This includes public areas such as museums, concert halls, theatres, sports clubs and sports matches.
- People in the entirety of the Netherlands are requested to work from home as much as possible or to spread working hours.*
- For vulnerable persons, these measures apply: (elders and persons with a weakened immune system) avoid large gatherings and public transport. In general, people are urged to limit visits to vulnerable people
- For healthcare personnel and personnel operating in vital processes: a lot is being demanded from you. As such, only stay at home when experiencing symptoms and fever. Consult your employer if necessary. Additionally, do not travel abroad.
- Colleges and Universities are requested to provide online education to substitute large scale lectures.**
- Primary schools, high schools, secondary vocational education and day-cares are to remain open: there are few infections in these institutions, and these environments are less international in nature. Children and juveniles furthermore do not shape the demographic that is at most risk. In addition, the social consequences of closing these schools are said to be significant and contribute little towards limiting the spread. Children that suffer from a cold are to remain at home.
Finally: the measures apply to the whole of the Netherlands until March 31, 2020. This also applies to North Brabant.
From Thursday, March 12, 2020, this information will be complemented, and the questions and answers that follow these new measures will be added on www.rijksoverheid.nl/coronavirus.
*The phrasing ‘spread work hours’ is perhaps a bit unclear here. However, a reasonable interpretation would be the businesses should look to spread working hours in a way that employees who have to be in specific locations have minimal physical contact with others.
** For the full notice, please refer to the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and the Association of Universities here.
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Frequently asked questions about the impact of the novel coronavirus on education, childcare, employees, employers, entrepreneurs, travellers and public transport can be found on Rijksoverheid.nl.