So, here we go: the Netherlands in a real lockdown at last.
Most of this is the essence of the speech Mark Rutte just held. Not exactly cited, but paraphrased and shortened
The crossroads we stood on past week has now long been passed: we took the wrong direction. The Netherlands will be on lockdown for at least five weeks. All places on which many people gather will be closed down, in order to limit everyone’s contacts to a minimum. The Cabinet is well aware of the far-reaching consequences of these decisions. Especially in the month of December, when the need for social contact is enormous, it hurts to do this. Please keep your peers in mind this Christmas and reach out to them – just not physically.
The infection rates are way too high. Weekly, we now see approximately 60 deaths, and 9000 new infections. In hospitals, case rates are also going up. Hospitalisation rates are higher now then they were in spring. Over one million regular treatments in hospitals were postponed. We’re at a breaking point for healthcare workers,
Around 30.000 people have been hospitalized, 6000 of which on intensive care. Most of these were younger than 50 (in 3:1 ratio when compared to 80+). These people still suffer the consequences of Covid, even now they are back at home and getting back healthy.
That is why. There is no choice than to take draconic measures to decrease contacts between people. These measurers are difficult and everyone is entitled to their discussion. Sure, some places have done well and not at all contributed to the infection rate. However, we need to take the final and ultimate step to limit interactions. For and by everyone. But with the vaccine on its way, eventually, 2021 will be a year of hope and somewhat more positive foresights.
So far for Mark Rutte’s speech. These are the measures that have been announced and that will start at midnight and apply until January 19th, with further announcements on January 12th.
On groups and guests
– Maximum group size outdoor is now two people, ór a group from the same household.
– You can only have two guests over
– For Christmas (December 24th-26th) you can have three guests over
On shopping and store closures
– Markets (local regulations may decide to cancel markets though)
– Pharmacies and drugstores
– Pet shops
– Opticians and audiciens
– Gas stations
– Car and mechanic workshops
– Laundries and dry cleaners
– Pick-up points at (some) hardware stores
– Pick-up points for flowers and Christmas trees
– Post offices. Unclarity regarding post offices in stores such as Bruna
– Locations for financial services
– Wholesale stores (under certain conditions)
(non-exhaustive list of examples)
– Furniture stores
– Electronics stores
– Clothing stores
– Hardware stores (pick up possible, see above)
On hospitality and other consumer goods
– Pick up at restaurants can continue
– Delivery from restaurants can continue
– Pick up from coffeeshops can continue
– Hotels can remain open, but can no longer serve food
On public places
These are all closed. This includes theatres, libraries, concert halls, cinemas, casinos, zoos, amusement parks, saunas, gyms, indoor sports facilities – literally everything.
There are some exceptions:
– Libraries remain open for picking up books.
– Government buildings remain open
– Judiciary buildings remain open
– Indoor sport facilities are all closed
– Adults only practice sports alone or with one other person
– Adults only practice sports outdoors
– Children (18-) can continue team sports, both training and matches. Individual sports associations may decide to cancel many or all events.
On contact jobs
All non-essential jobs in which physical contact occurs are closed. This includes tattooshops, hairdressers, manicures, pedicures, sex workers, and many many more
Essential contact jobs can continue. This includes (non-exhaustive list)
– Health care institutions of all sorts
– Occupational therapists
As of Wednesday December 16th, all education will be online again, from primary school to universities. Exceptions to this rule can be made for
– children in the last year of high school
– examination at universities, universities of applied sciences, and secondary vocational education (MBO)
– vulnerable children and students
In addition to this, university facilities will most likely close down entirely or operate with strong restrictions. Updates from universities are expected tomorrow.
Children’s daycare facilities will also close down, *except* for children whose parents work in essential jobs (essential jobs largely overlap with stores and contact jobs that remain open and working)
– Stay at home as much as possible
– Public transport should only be used when necessary to get to your job. Although this is not explicitly checked, we all have to stay at home as much as possible, so there is little to no reason to be on a train.
– There is a strong recommendation not to travel abroad, unless absolutely necessary.
As far as I am ware, there are no additional measures for international travel (compared to earlier today). For an extensive guide on international travel, check the travel FAQ page.
– Work. From. Home. Unless you are an essential worker, don’t go to work.
– Employers will be encouraged to properly facilitate working from home.
That’s it for the measures. I hope this overview provides you with some insights to make it through the next five weeks. It is going to be rough. Take care of the people in your house and keep in touch with your friends through digital means. Be careful, wash your hands often, always keep 1,5m distance, wear your face masks and just behave responsibly in general.
During the press conference, there were some demonstrations outside of Mark Rutte’s office. I understand if you feel frustrated by both the measures but also by these protests. It is however what it is. I’m always here to answer your questions, but will not engage in discussions here or in private messages.
If you have any questions about the measures, please do let me know! Stay healthy and stay safe people <3