Around 7 million people tuned in to a press conference yesterday evening
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The Dutch government yesterday held a press conference to announce further regulations for people to follow during the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands. The biggest announcement was that all Dutch residents must keep 1.5 metres away from eachother at all times, reports the Dagblad van het Noorden.
Anyone with any sick family members at home should also stay at home- unless you have a ‘crucial job’ such as in the medical sector, or as a government worker.
Shops may stay open, but shopkeepers must make sure that there can be 1.5 metres of space between visitors. If this doesn’t happen, then Mayors have been given the power to give out 4,000 euro fines or order the shop closed. Often this will mean people queuing outside, before they can go into the shop.
Public transport is also to remain open. Yesterday the NS rail company said that passenger numbers were down by about 90% from a ‘normal’ Monday morning. Passengers will have to adhere to the 1.5 metre spacing rule, which may mean that rail staff have to supervise boarding, or enforce a capacity limit.
Hairdressers, nail salons, and beauty salons must close until April 6. Physiotherapists have been asked ‘wherever possible’ to work via video-message. Hotels, restaurants, and cafe’s must remain closed until April 6, and casinos have now been included under these rules.
Everyone may still leave their houses for exercise or to get some fresh air, but there is now a ban on gatherings. Police have been asked to break up groups of people that are gathering for sports or social purposes in public spaces. Anyone who is outside in a group of 3 or more people and is not observing the 1.5 metre spacing regulation may be fined 400 euros. An exception has been made for small children playing outside together.
Anyone who is planning on entertaining at home and inviting more than 3 guests runs the risk of the municipality shutting the gathering down.
All gatherings and events have been banned until June 1. This includes religious groups, and means that it is likely that King’s Day and Rememberance Day (including Liberation Day) will not be celebrated with events this year.
Mayors also have the power to shut down parks, beaches, and camping places. Markets are allowed to stay open, but may be patrolled by council workers to maintain distancing.