Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus

Below you can find the answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.

You can also find up to date information about the Dutch measures against corona virus on the website of the national government.

Questions about access to the Heuvelland area

From Thursday 9 April to Tuesday 28 April, Heuvelland Zuid-Limburg was closed to day trippers. Only local traffic was still permitted. The decision was taken by the Security Region Zuid-Limburg when crowds of people were attracted to the Heuvelland in the first weekend of April. The large influx of groups of people created a risk for everyone’s health in the fight against the coronavirus.

The decision to close the Heuvelland area for day trips will not be extended after 29 April. During recent weekends the crowds that are usually seen on public holidays and in good weather did not materialise. Based on these results, Security Region Zuid-Limburg considers that a separate approach to the Heuvelland region is no longer necessary.

Although the Heuvelland is once again open to everyone, checks are continuing. In the amended national emergency ordinance, the measures on distance and assembly remain in force. 

Questions about travelling, sports and leisure

Do not travel abroad, unless it is absolutely essential. Holiday travel is not regarded as essential.

For up-to-date information on travelling to other countries, go to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (information in Dutch). The situation may change from day to day.

Here, you can also find up-to-date information for travelling to Belgium and Germany

This vignette can only be used by cross-border workers in vital sectors and with essential jobs.

See the national government website for further information.

There is more information about travelling to Belgium with a vignette on the national government website

People who do not work in a vital sector or do an essential job must have an employer’s statement to show that they are crossing the border for work.

You can read more about this on the national government website.

Accommodation for groups is allowed to stay open. However, such accommodation may currently only be offered to a single household and not to groups consisting of several households. Until further notice, the latter is seen as a gathering, which is forbidden.

This is to do with the step-by-step opening up of society. The government is starting by making changes to local measures, putting little pressure on public space and slowly increasing the amount of travel. Next, there will be adjustments at regional level and then at national level. Small groups will be allowed first and this will be increased over time, so that the process is as manageable and organised as possible. It is only possible to relax measures if the development of the virus permits it. If it is really necessary, a decision to allow greater freedom of movement can be reversed.

It is permitted to use indoor and outdoor swimming facilities for sport and exercise in water, provided the operator takes measures to ensure a distance of 1.5 metres between individuals. Changing rooms and toilets can be opened for use. Washing facilities and showers must remain closed. We advise the following:

  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from every other person outside your household. This does not apply to children up to 12 years old who are together.
  • Visitors should use their toilet at home as much as possible.
  • Swimmers are asked to shower at home.
  • Put your swimwear on at home, so that at the swimming pool you only need to remove your outer clothes.
  •  It is preferable not to use public transport to go to the swimming pool.

A personal training studio comes under indoor sports facilities and must therefore remain closed under the emergency ordinance. In consequence, it is not permitted to hire out this studio to one or more athletes or for personal training.

According to the emergency ordinance of 13 May, people are allowed to visit zoos, nature parks and amusement parks, provided specific measures are complied with. In order to reopen, the operator of such a facility has to submit a step-by-step plan to their own municipality. At least a week before the intended opening of the facility, this plan, with the municipality’s recommendation, must be submitted to the chair of the Security Region for approval. All municipalities in Zuid-Limburg follow the same procedure for processing the plans submitted by zoos, nature reserves and amusement parks.

The step-by-step plan has to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Complying with the hygiene measures and the 1.5-metre distance in line with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) guidelines.
  • Preventing public transport from becoming too crowded.
  • Regulating visitor flows by means of waiting spaces or visits by appointment.
  • Limiting the number of people in one space as much as possible.
  • Limiting the opening of toilets at a facility (to be used in exceptional cases).
  • Cleaning the sanitary facilities every 2 hours.
  • It is only permitted to buy food and beverages to take away and these must be consumed elsewhere.
  • Ensuring a physical barrier when there is interaction between a staff member and a visitor.
  • Displaying clear and visible instructions that include the measures.
  • Working out arrangements to follow if maximum capacity is reached in relation to the 1.5-metre distance rule.

Questions about education

The central exams have been cancelled, but the school exams are going ahead. The results of the school exams will form the basis for obtaining the secondary school diploma this academic year.

You can find more information on the website of the national government

Questions about the approach to tackling coronavirus

To control the spread of coronavirus, it’s important that people consistently take these precautions: 

  • Work from home as much as possible
  • If you have a cough or a cold: stay at home
  • Always keep at least 1.5 metres distance from other people
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow
  • Use paper tissues
  • Do not shake hands

On the website of the central government you can find more information about the Dutch measures against coronavirus.

The Netherlands needs help from everyone in dealing with the coronavirus. Always keep a distance of 1.5 metres (two arm lengths) from other people. What does this mean in practice? See the national government website for a helpful explanation.

The Netherlands’ approach is essentially to control the virus as much as possible in order to protect vulnerable groups. To find out what that means for our daily life, see the national government website.

 

 

Nursing homes and small-scale residential homes for the elderly will be closed to visitors and others who are not required for basic care from 20 March. From Monday 11 May, a first step will be taken to relax these measurements. 

The website of the central government explains what this means in practice. (Dutch text only)

 

This is to do with the step-by-step opening up of society. The government is starting by making changes to local measures, putting little pressure on public space and slowly increasing the amount of travel. Next, there will be adjustments at regional level and then at national level. Small groups will be allowed first and this will be increased over time, so that the process is as manageable and organised as possible. It is only possible to relax measures if the development of the virus permits it. If it is really necessary, a decision to allow greater freedom of movement can be reversed.

Questions about gatherings and events

In order to prevent large numbers of people becoming infected with coronavirus, there are rules on forming groups. The rules help daily life continue without irresponsible situations arising. What this means for gatherings and events you can find on the website of the central government.

The ban on gatherings does not apply to public markets as these play a crucial role in bringing food to consumers in some parts of the country.

Municipalities and market superintendents will examine ways that a good distance between members of the public can be maintained. Failing this, local authorities may order markets to close.

You can find more information on the website of the central government

Specialised markets are seen as events and are forbidden.

An exception is made for funerals.

You can find more information on the website of the national government.

An exception is made for weddings.

You can find more information on the website of the national government.

Measures taken in the Netherlands to combat coronavirus will be extended until 19 May inclusive. Public venues will remain closed until that date.

More information can be found on the website of the national government

Hotels are allowed to stay open. They are not within the scope of the emergency ordinance that is currently in force in Zuid-Limburg. However, it is also important for hotels to take account of the hygiene measures. In addition, hotels may only serve hotel guests in their restaurants; other guests are not permitted.

Establishments selling food and beverages have been closed. However, it is permitted to deliver and pick up takeaway food.

However, we do advise a number of precautions. For example, takeaway restaurants are requested to avoid becoming crowded, ensure that people to not stand too close together (1.5 metres distance), make sure there is no seating, and comply with hygiene measures. As a consumer, you should also take your meal home with you. It is not permitted to eat on the premises.

No. You can only use the hotel restaurant if you are staying at the hotel. Hotels may keep their own restaurant open, but they may only serve hotel guests.

Company canteens and corporate catering are not within the scope of the emergency ordinance.

Eating establishments in hotels are not within the scope of the emergency ordinance either, but they are only allowed to serve hotel guests. Here too, it is important to observe the hygiene measures and stay 1.5 metres away from other people.

Shops are still open.

In shops too, it is important to keep a 1.5 metres distance from other people. In addition, shops are required to take measures to ensure that people keep a good distance.

You can find more information on the website of the central government

Meetings are considered to be gatherings. Gatherings that are essential for the daily activities of institutions, companies and other organisations may be held, up to a maximum of 100 people and if a distance of 1.5 metres between individuals can be maintained.

Questions about the coronavirus and your business

The government is taking various measures to help entrepreneurs who are at risk of encountering problems. For example, there is the short-time working scheme, the tax authorities can grant a deferral of payment and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is extending the guarantee for small and medium-sized enterprises. Entrepreneurs in, for example, the catering or the travel industry who experience problems because customers are staying at home or are having to close down their business temporarily, can borrow money more easily as a result. Entrepreneurs can request more information about the possibilities from the Chamber of Commerce's advisory team.

Questions about health