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The Netherlands’ approach is aimed at keeping the virus under control as much as possible in order to protect vulnerable groups and make sure the healthcare system can cope. Thanks to people complying with the measures, the situation has improved since March. The figures show a positive trend. Now, it is important that the virus stays under control until a vaccine or treatment is available. That is why we’re are taking a step-by-step approach.

The government will start by relaxing restrictions at local or neighbourhood level. That will not make public spaces much busier. The government will then relax restrictions at regional level and finally at national level. First small gatherings will be allowed, and later larger gatherings, so that everything remains as manageable and orderly as possible. Restrictions can only be lifted if the virus remains under control. If circumstances require, any decision to relax measures can be reversed.

Tracking the spread of the virus

Following these basic rules can prevent the virus from spreading in most cases. This will be combined with expanding testing capacity and in-depth source and contact tracing. From June, everyone in the Netherlands aged 12 and over who has symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested. This is crucial to being able to track the spread of the virus. If someone tests positive for coronavirus, the municipal health service (GGD) will carry out in-depth source and contact tracing. 

Government working together with organisations and businesses

The basic rules, such as avoiding busy places and staying 1.5 metres apart, apply to everyone. These rules also apply in shopping streets, parks and recreation areas. To ensure everyone can follow these rules, the government is working together with businesses and organisations, including employers’ federations,  trade unions, sector associations and Dutch rail company NS. Every business is different.
For smaller shops and restaurants the 1.5 metre rule means they can admit fewer people. Other businesses have small workspaces or narrow corridors. It is impossible for the government to take decisions or introduce measures that provide a solution for every business and answer everyone’s questions. Solutions need to be tailored, and the government is willing to provide input and support where possible.

For more information please check the website of the Dutch government