Minister Bruno Bruins (Medical Care), and Minister Arie Slob (Primary and Secondary Education) during a press conference at which the new measures regarding the coronavirus were announced. ANP imag

New measures announced by the Dutch Government on Corona Crisis
(March 15, 2020)

Below you can find the outcome of the press conference organised by the Dutch Government at the Ministry of Justice where Ministers Bruins and Slob announced the new measures on COVID-19 following the crisis meeting earlier today.

New measures related to the education sector: 

  • All schools in the Netherlands to remain closed from March 16, 2020, until April 6, 2020. An exception applies to children of people who are in vital professions such as but not limited to police officers, and care staff.
    • However, schools and childcare locations remain open to parents working in crucial professional groups. They can then go to work, while their children are cared for there. This specifically concerns staff in care, education, public transport, the food chain, fuel transport, waste and refuse collection, childcare, media and communication, emergency services and necessary government processes. 
    • The list also includes other companies previously identified as vital, such as the electricity and gas sectors, drinking water supply, the Internet sector, defence and flight and aircraft handling. Staff from these professional groups can also make use of the reception facilities. For the full list please visit: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/cruciale-beroepsgroepen (available in Dutch only)
  • Teaching staff and pedagogical staff who work in childcare and are not ill can simply go to work for the next three weeks. “We really need them,” Slob said. “In order to further support the children of parents in vital professions, but also to support the education of children who come to sit at home”.
  • High priority is given to final exam candidates, they will receive more information in the coming week.
  • The measures previously announced for Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities will be extended until 6 April.

New measures related to the entertainment industry:

  • All eating and drinking establishments in the Netherlands must close their doors from 6:00 PM tonight. Minister Bruins further adds that “Sports and fitness clubs, saunas, sex clubs and coffee shops will also close” until April 6, 2020.
  • Driving: The CBR has cancelled all practical and theoretical examinations until at least 31 March (learn more here – post in Dutch). The activities of the Driving Proficiency Division, which assesses whether a person is healthy enough to obtain or keep a driving licence, will continue. The CBR reports this in a letter to Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen. Customer service will also remain open.
  • The government recommends the citizens to keep an appropriate distance from each other whenever possible, for instance, while shopping. As a guideline, they recommend a distance of approximately 1.5 meters.

Updates on the state of the health care system:

The Government reassures the citizens that the Netherlands can still handle the situation very well. Minister Bruins says, “we will work together to ensure that we can continue to provide care to everyone in the Netherlands”. He added that “A lot of collaboration is required between hospitals, within regions and throughout the Netherlands, but we do it together.” The Minister says that there is no lock-down situation yet in the Netherlands. However, more far-reaching measures are being taken. “We do this on the basis of the advice we discuss in the ministerial committee.”

For more updates on the topic please visit www.rijksoverheid.nl/coronavirus.

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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.

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