Today, 15 December, the Netherlands enters into the strictest lockdown since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaking on television in the evening of 14 December informed that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of new infections recently, which entails the reinforcement of the partial lockdown and the strict limit on social contacts.
The Netherlands goes into lockdown from 15 December to 19 January
According to the rules announced yesterday, the following public establishments will close for the next five weeks: museums and theatres, amusement parks and zoos, casinos, indoor sports facilities like pools, saunas and gyms, bars and restaurants, including the catering facilities of hotels. Same goes for non-essential retailers, such as fashion outlets, and contact professions – hairdressers, nail salons, sex establishments, tattoo artists, etc. There is an exception for therapists.
What remains open are only essential establishments, such as food stores (including those for pets), pharmacies, drugstores, dry cleaners, wholesalers, petrol stations, etc. Furthermore, in order to limit social contacts, primary and secondary schools, vocational and higher education institutions will provide distance classes starting from 16 December.
In terms of leisure, the government strictly advises against receiving more than 2 guests older than 13 years per day, with the exception of Christmas holidays on 24, 25 and 26 December, when the limit number is 3. Additionally, when outdoors, it is also not allowed to be with more than 2 people other than your household members. The Dutch are also advised not to travel at least until mid-March.
So far, the measures announced have a horizon of five weeks, or until 19 January. On 12 January the government will assess the development of the pandemic situation again and will decide on whether to extend them or reduce them.