From today, the Netherlands is back in the partial lockdown imposed in mid-October. While many restrictions are still in place, the government relaxed the extra measures they implemented at the start of this month. Museums, amusement parks, theaters and cinemas are open again. And people are allowed to gather in slightly larger groups.
From today, Netherlands residents are allowed to receive three, instead of two, guests at home, and can gather outside in groups with a maximum of four people. More people are allowed at funerals, a maximum of 100 instead of 30. The catering industry is still closed for everything except takeaways, and events are banned. A full list of measures in effect can be found here.
The advice is still to stay home as much as possible. “So go to the supermarket alone and don’t shop for fun. Always ask yourself: do I really have to go outside?” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Rutte said that it will be clear in early December whether measures can be adjusted. What measures will apply around Christmas and New Year’s is not yet clear. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge warned that restrictions will likely continue to apply until mid-January.
RIVM epidemiologist Susan van den Hof told NU.nl that at the rate at which Covid-19 infections are currently falling, it will only be wise to relax measures in January. If you relax measures earlier, “you may very quickly end up in a third wave,” Van der Hof said.
In new advice to the government on Tuesday, the Outbreak Management Team said that people should celebrate Christmas with only their own families, with a limit on six house guests per day, and without leaving their region.
Hubert Bruls of the Security Council called it a necessity to arrange activities for young people over New Year’s, warning that otherwise public safety will be “a very tough challenge” that night.