Engels - English

Coronavirus: No scope for easing lockdown 26-03-2021

The third wave is becoming apparent, so we will remain in lockdown until at least 20 April. If we follow the basic rules, fewer people will become infected with coronavirus. This will help open up society more quickly.

Coronavirus: No further easing of lockdown 08-03-2021

Vaccination provides us with a way forward, but the number of coronavirus infections is too high. That is why it is not possible to ease the restrictions any further yet. The Netherlands will remain in lockdown until at least 30 March. Minor adjustments to current measures will be made as of 16 March.

More breathing space in lockdown, but caution remains 23-02-2021

The coronavirus measures are testing everyone’s resilience, both physically and mentally. The longer the crisis continues, the more difficult it becomes for everyone. Now that a year has passed, the pandemic’s social and economic effects are mounting dramatically. 

The government remains focused on protecting people in at-risk groups, and ensuring healthcare remains accessible to those in need. The rise of the British coronavirus variant means that the daily infection rate is now dropping less, or even increasing, compared with a few weeks ago. A third wave of infections seems unavoidable.

Nevertheless, we are now in a phase where we can afford to take a slightly greater risk – albeit a limited and carefully considered risk. The lockdown and curfew will remain in force at least up to and including 15 March, but secondary schools and institutions of secondary vocational education (MBO) will partially reopen from 1 March. In addition, from 3 March the government will relax the lockdown in the following ways: young people aged 26 and below will be able to train together outside at sports venues again; contact-based professions can be practised again; and retailers may open for shopping-by-appointment.

Education

From 1 March, secondary schools and institutions of secondary vocational education (MBO) will partially reopen. In practice, this means that all secondary school pupils will attend school at least one day a week, subject to certain conditions. For now, MBO students will attend one day a week. As with primary schools, the government wants to avoid a situation in which secondary schools and MBO institutions need to close again in the future.

It is vital that schools and parents do everything possible to limit the number of contacts as much as possible. For some time now, anyone working in the education sector has been able to get tested with priority status, and that will not change.

Centres for out-of-school care (BSO) must stay closed, as opening them would lead to extra contact between pupils from different schools. 

Contact-based professions

People performing contact-based professions, such as hairdressers and masseurs, will be able to practise again from 3 March 2021. Customers must make a reservation and must be asked if they have any symptoms that could point to COVID-19. It is also important to wear a face mask and, where possible, to stay 1.5 metres apart.

The relaxation of this measure will also apply to driving instructors. From 3 March, people will be able to take driving lessons again, and the practical driving test will be available to anyone. The government is exploring ways to enable driving students to safely take the theory test at the earliest possible opportunity.

The basic hygiene measures will of course continue to apply, and you must stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Sex workers may not practise their profession at this time.

Outdoor sport

From 3 March, people aged 26 and below will be able to train outside at sports venues in groups of more than two people. Although competitions are still prohibited, they will be able to train with their own team from the same club. This was previously possible only for people aged 18 and below. 

Shopping by appointment

From 3 March, shops will be able to receive customers by appointment. Shops will be able to receive 2 customers per floor at a time. Customers must make an appointment at least four hours in advance. Each customer slot must be a minimum of 10 minutes. This is to prevent contact between customers in the case of rapid customer turnover. And of course, the basic rules apply at all times: wear a face mask, stay 1.5 metres apart, follow the basic hygiene measures and stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Shopping by appointment may offer a way forward to small-scale retailers in particular. 

Curfew

The curfew will be extended until 04.30 on 15 March 2021.

With the curfew in force, people are not permitted to be outdoors between 21.00 and 04.30. The curfew conditions have not changed. From 3 March, students taking practical lessons (and their teachers) and adult education students in their exam year will be exempt from the curfew.

Flight ban

To reduce the risk of virus mutations spreading, on 23 January the government announced a flight ban on passenger flights from the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. This ban will be extended until at least Thursday 4 March. The government has asked the Outbreak Management Team to advise on the partial or full extension of this ban. The current exemptions, affecting a small number of travellers, including medical personnel, are still in effect.

Lockdown

The aim of the lockdown is to prevent people from coming into contact with each other wherever possible. Less contact means fewer infections. So stay at home and work from home as much as possible. Only go outside to shop for essentials, to get medical or other assistance for yourself or to care for others or animals, to get some fresh air or to go to work or school if working or learning remotely is not possible. If you do decide to receive visitors, make sure you have no more than one visitor per day, not including children under 13. You should not visit more than one other household per day either.

On Monday 8 March the government will assess what measures are necessary as from 16 March.

Pay extra attention to the basic rules

By relaxing the lockdown somewhat we are taking a risk. This requires us to pay extra attention to following the basic rules. That includes the hygiene rules, such as frequent handwashing, sneezing into your elbow and wearing a face mask wherever required. It also means staying 1.5 metres away from others and avoiding busy places. It’s also essential – now more than ever – that you get tested and stay at home, even if you experience only mild symptoms. And if you test positive for COVID-19 you must self-quarantine together with everyone else in your household. This is the only way we can get coronavirus under control and gradually enjoy more freedom.

Lockdown measures tightened in response to concerns about new variants of virus 20- 01-2021

The government is gravely concerned about the UK variant of coronavirus, which is even more infectious than the virus we are familiar with in the Netherlands. There are also other variants of the virus that are sparking concern. New measures are needed in order to get these new variants under control. To that end, the government plans to introduce a curfew within a few days once the measure has been approved by parliament. The government is also issuing stricter advice on visitor numbers: receive no more than one visitor aged 13 or older per day, and make no more than one visit to another household per day. Further restrictions will also be introduced to limit international travel.

The aim of the new measures is to reduce the current infection rate, delay the spread of the original and new coronavirus variants and prevent the new variants’ entry into the Netherlands as much as possible. This will enable us to prevent these variants from gaining the upper hand for as long as possible. And that will help ensure that hospitals have sufficient room for COVID-19 patients in the months ahead, and that regular medical procedures can continue as planned wherever possible. We don’t want to look back a few weeks from now and realise that we did not do enough.

Curfew

The government plans to introduce a curfew across the Netherlands within a few days of obtaining parliamentary approval of the measure. This will mean that everyone must stay inside between 20.30 and 04.30. The aim of the curfew is to slow the infection rate by preventing people from visiting each other and gathering in groups. While the curfew is in force people will not be allowed outside without a valid reason. If you need to go out at this time, you may do so only in the following circumstances:

  • in the event of an emergency;
  • you need urgent medical assistance, your pet needs urgent veterinary assistance or someone needs your urgent assistance;
  • your employer requires you to leave your home for your work;
  • you are travelling abroad or returning to the Netherlands;
  • you are going to or returning from a funeral and can prove this;
  • you are travelling in connection with a summons issued by a court or public prosecutor, or in connection with a court hearing in objection, judicial review or appeal proceedings, and you can prove this;
  • you are walking a dog on a lead. You must do this on your own.

If it is necessary for you to go outside during the curfew, you must take a ‘curfew declaration’ with you. If you have to go out for your job, you must also be able to produce an employer’s declaration. In certain cases, no declaration is required. For more information, visit www.rijksoverheid.nl/avondklok.

The House of Representatives still needs to consider the government’s proposal to introduce a curfew. Once the House has approved the measure, more information will be posted on www.government.nl.

A curfew is a far-reaching measure, but it will help the Netherlands to further slow the spread of the virus. According to the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), research conducted abroad has shown that a curfew can reduce the R number by 8 to 13%. In principle, the curfew will remain in force until 04.30 on 10 February 2021.

Extra travel restrictions

Every journey a person makes increases the chance of causing more infections or of bringing new variants of coronavirus into the Netherlands. For this reason, the government has issued a strict travel advisory: do not travel abroad and do not book any trips abroad in the period up to and including 31 March 2021.

The government is introducing extra measures to prevent new variants of the virus being imported via travellers and to further restrict the number of travel movements. A ban on flights from the United Kingdom and a docking ban for ferries from the United Kingdom is in force. A flight ban is also in force for passenger flights from the following other countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. At present the flight ban is expected to remain in force for one month, or until planned legislation on mandatory quarantine rules for travellers is in place.

In addition, all passengers travelling to the Netherlands by air or sea from high-risk areas must be able to produce a negative result of a rapid COVID-19 test performed shortly before their departure. The test must not have been performed more than four hours prior to boarding the aircraft or ship. This requirement is in addition to the existing mandatory negative test result for a PCR test performed no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands. These measures also apply to people travelling to the Caribbean parts of the Netherlands. What is more, travellers must self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands. After five days they can get tested. If the result of this PCR test is negative they may end their self-quarantine. Since rapid test facilities are not available near all ports and airports, the government expects that the double-test requirement will reduce the amount of travel to the Netherlands. As a result it may be difficult for some people to get home. Dutch nationals who have a compelling reason to travel to the Netherlands and cannot produce a negative PCR and rapid test result in time should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For travellers from countries outside the EU, a travel ban has been in force since March 2020. The government has decided to reduce the number of exemptions from this ban. As a result, business travellers, students, highly-skilled migrants, professionals from the cultural and creative sectors and people in long-distance romantic relationships wishing to travel to the Netherlands for a short period will no longer be granted entry.

These measures will take effect on Saturday 23 January 2021 at 00.01.

Stay at home, work from home and keep contact with others to a minimum

The aim of the lockdown is to prevent people from coming into contact with each other wherever possible. Less contact means fewer infections. Staying at home is the best way to minimise contact with others. Only go outside to shop for essentials, to get medical care for yourself or provide it for others or animals, to get some fresh air or to go to work or school if working or learning remotely is not possible.

Limiting your contacts means not meeting up with others too often. Keep in touch via telephone or video calls instead. If you do decide to receive visits, the government’s strict advice is to have no more than one visitor aged 13 or over per day. You should not visit more than one other household per day either. These measures will help prevent the spread of the virus. But, of course, seeing fewer people is hard on everyone. So look out for any people around you who might need extra attention, especially those who are ill, lonely or struggling with mental health issues.

In principle everyone should work from home. Only people whose presence is essential to operational processes and who cannot do their work from home can go to their workplace. So, for example, a bus driver can go to work, but an office worker should work entirely from home. The current situation is very serious. So employers and staff should review their existing agreements about coming into work. At the moment, people should not be going to work to meet with colleagues or clients. Employers must ensure that any employee who can work from home does so. Employees who are requested to come into work even though their presence is not essential, should raise this with their employer.

Self-quarantine requirement

Anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus or has had direct contact with someone who has tested positive must self-quarantine. This also applies to people arriving in the Netherlands from high-risk countries, and to people who are experiencing symptoms and waiting for their test result. But not everyone is following the rules properly. Now that we are dealing with new virus variants, this poses an additional risk of the virus continuing to spread. The government is therefore looking at how self-quarantining can be made mandatory. Preparations are under way for registering incoming travellers and contacting people by phone to check they are self-quarantining. More details will be announced in due course. More information about the current rules is available on government.nl.

Funerals

On the basis of the OMT’s advice, the government has introduced further restrictions on the number of people permitted to attend a funeral. From Monday 25 January 2021, the maximum number of people permitted will be 50.

Future events

The government also wishes to explore the scope for allowing people to attend events safely and responsibly in the future. It has therefore agreed that experiments can be carried out in real-life settings to gain insight and gather data on how to reduce the risk of infection at events. This will be done at two football matches, a comedy performance, a business conference, a concert and several other events to see what happens when one or more basic measures are relaxed.

Overview of measures

Until at least 9 February 2021 the following measures apply:

  • Receive no more than 1 person aged 13 or over at your home per day.
  • Visit no more than 1 other household per day.
  • Work from home. Only people whose presence is essential to operational processes and who cannot do their work from home can go to work.
  • Only go outside with members of your household, on your own or with 1 other person.
  • A curfew is in force between 20.30 and 04.30. This means you are not permitted to be outside between these times.
  • Most locations are closed, including:
    • shops (except those selling essentials like food)
    • locations where contact-based professions are carried out, such as hairdressers, nail salons and sex establishments.
    • theatres, concert halls, cinemas, casinos, etc.
    • zoos, amusement parks, etc.
    • indoor sports facilities, gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas etc.
    • restaurants and cafes.
  • Educational institutions will provide most teaching remotely until at least 7 February. Daycare and out-of-school care centres will remain closed during this period.
    • Secondary schools can offer practical training, school exams for pupils in the upper years and lessons for pupils with upcoming final exams on site.
    • Secondary vocational schools (MBO), higher professional education institutions (HBO) and universities can offer exams and practical training on site.
    • All educational institutions can make exceptions to provide support to vulnerable children or students.
  • For children whose parents work in critical sectors, emergency childcare is available at their primary school, daycare centre and/or out-of-school care centre. Parents are urged to use emergency childcare only if they have no other option.
  • Only medical professionals and allied health professionals may carry out work that involves close contact with clients or patients.
  • Hotels are open, but hotel restaurants are closed and room service is not available.
  • Adults can exercise alone or with one other person, and only outside. Children aged 17 and under may take part in team sports and play matches against children at the same club, but only outside.
  • Use public transport for essential travel only.
  • Do not travel abroad and do not book trips abroad until 31 March inclusive. Travel restrictions apply.

12-01-2021

8 - 12- 2020

In this video, you can follow Mark Rutte’s part of the press conference in English, in which the prime ministers brings you up to date on the measures for the coming period, so you can understand the latest news on the corona virus in your own language.

Persconferentie 08-12 Engels from Global Talk on Vimeo.

17-11-2020

In this video, you can follow Mark Rutte’s part of the press conference in English, in which the prime ministers brings you up to date on the measures for the coming period, so you can understand the latest news on the corona virus in your own language.

03-11-2020

In this video, you can follow Mark Rutte’s part of the press conference in English, in which the prime ministers brings you up to date on the measures for the coming period, so you can understand the latest news on the corona virus in your own language.

The coronavirus

What you need to know about the coronavirus.
 

Partial lockdown needed to bring down infections 13th October

In recent weeks coronavirus has had too many opportunities to spread again. The government decided today that stricter measures are needed to bring down the number of infections. Our approach is to intervene in situations where the risk of transmitting the virus is greatest. We can do this by limiting travel movements and opportunities for people to come into contact with each other, helping people comply with the basic rules and enforcing compliance more strictly.

Tightening the measures will impact on our society and the economy more than we would like, but this step is needed to open up a new prospect: a society that has coronavirus under control. It is crucial that we maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people and keep following the basic rules. Anyone with symptoms should get tested, and those who test positive must stay at home. This will enable us to prevent the vast majority of infections.

Anticipating the virus

We want our interventions to be as targeted as possible. Unfortunately, the greater the number of infections, the more sweeping the measures have to be. We have developed a range of tools: testing policy, the Coronavirus Dashboard (with its four risk levels, clearly indicating what measures are needed at any given time), the CoronaMelder app to support source and contact-tracing efforts, and stricter legislation and enforcement. All these help us better track and anticipate the spread of the virus. And that means we can make rapid, targeted adjustments and combat the virus wherever it flares up.

Follow-up

The nationwide measures will go into effect at 22.00 on Wednesday 14 October. Between now and 27 October, the government will assess what measures are needed in the period after that. There needs to be sufficient evidence that the number of infections and the pressure on the regular healthcare system are declining before we can say with certainty that the measures are working and can therefore be reconsidered.

The measures

Groups:

  • At home you may have no more than three visitors per day, excluding children under 13.
  • At indoor seated venues a maximum of 30 people applies.
  • Indoors and outdoors a group must have no more than 4 people from different households.
  • There is no maximum number of people for a household.

Daily life:

  • Work from home, unless this is really not possible.
  • If you are aged 13 or over, wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
  • In secondary and higher education institutions (VO, MBO and HO) everyone must wear a face mask outside lessons.
  • All establishments that serve food and drinks must close. Take-away will still be possible.
  • Exceptions are:
    • hotels for hotel guests
    • funeral locations
    • airports (after security)
  • Locations with a combined function must close the section that serves food and drinks.
  • Retail stores must close no later than 20.00. There will be no late-night shopping.
  • Grocery stores may stay open later.
  • No alcohol or soft drugs will be sold or delivered between 20.00 and 07.00.
  • Between 20.00 and 07.00 you may not drink alcohol or use soft drugs or have them on your person in public spaces.
  • Events are banned, with the exception of:
    • food markets
    • trade fairs and conferences
    • cinemas and theatres
    • matches or competitions
    • demonstrations, gatherings and meetings as referred to in the Public Assemblies Act
  • Agreements will be made in the retail sector for strict compliance with the protocols. If it becomes too busy or if the basic rules are not being observed, a location can be partly or fully closed. Enforcement will be stepped up.
  • At locations where there is a continuous flow of people (such as monuments, libraries and museums) visitors must reserve a time slot. This does not apply to retail stores and food markets.

Taking part in sports is allowed, subject to these restrictions:

  • Taking part in individual sports or in team sports with no more than 4 people in total is allowed for anyone aged 18 if they keep a distance of 1.5 metres. Matches and competitions are not permitted.
  • Exceptions are:
    • elite athletes with a status at assigned locations (such as Papendal);
    • footballers (incl. support staff in a ‘bubble’) in the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie. 
  • Taking part in team sports, including matches and competitions with teams within their own club, is allowed for children under 18.
  • In addition to sports canteens and clubhouses, showers and changing rooms will also remain closed.

Travel:

  • Travel as little as possible.
  • Stay at your holiday address as much as possible.
  • Limited the number of outings and avoid busy places.
  • For travel abroad see the travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
     

Letter of mayor Van Bochove to the Weespers

Mayor of Weesp, Bas Jan van Bochove, has written a letter to all the residents of Weesp:

Dear Weesp residents,

We simply cannot and must not ignore it. There has been a massive rise in the number of corona infections in our city. And that is obviously very worrying. Everything appeared to be going in the right direction during the summer months, but we now find ourselves in the midst of the second wave of infections. If we don’t want this second wave to once again hit many of our vulnerable people hard, now’s the time to take action.

This is why the cabinet has introduced extra measures which will definitely remain in place until 20th October. This means that, throughout this period, gatherings of more than 30 people are prohibited indoors, catering establishments may not welcome in any new guests after 21.00 hours, either inside or on the terraces and they must close their doors at 22.00 hours and we’re not permitted to welcome more than 3 guests into our homes. Sports events can continue, but without spectators and the sports canteen will remain closed. Supermarkets have to introduce special priority shopping hours for the elderly and for people with fragile health. People are also strongly urged to wear face masks in shops, cafés and restaurants, museums, government buildings and in secondary schools’ communal areas and corridors. A complete overview of the measures can be found on the Central Government’s website.

These measures must quickly lead to a significant drop in the number of new infections, otherwise a new ‘lockdown’ will be inevitable. And that is something we really do need to avoid. After all, the consequences suffered as a result of the measures implemented over the past six months are quite serious enough. For our entrepreneurs, our sports providers, our cultural sector, our young people who really want to be able to meet up again and our elderly and vulnerable people, who are absolutely dreading another period which will undoubtedly be filled with loneliness.

We can see the number of new daily infections and hospital admissions on the corona dashboards available on both the Gooi & Vechtstreek region’s and the Central Government’s websites. Weesp has regularly topped the national ‘rankings’ in recent weeks. We unfortunately don’t have a simple explanation for this. A lot of testing is done in Weesp. We have noted that an ever-increasing number of people are finding it difficult to stick to the basic rules. The 1.5 meter social distancing rule appears to be a particularly difficult one for people to abide by. Perhaps quite understandable, but it’s unfortunately the main cause of the rising number of infections. We therefore have the power to influence these figures with our behaviour. Whether and how quickly the numbers in Weesp come down during the forthcoming period is completely down to us, which, in turn, will then obviously earn us back our freedom of movement. It goes without saying this absolutely has to be a team effort. After all, we’ll only be able to get the corona virus under control if we work together.

We would therefore once again like to urgently call on all of you to adhere to the extra measures which are now in place and to remain alert to compliance with the 1.5 meter and hygiene guidelines. Work from home if you can and limit any social contacts as much as possible.

Dear Weesp residents: let’s all play our part and work together. For our entrepreneurs, for our elderly, for our young people, our people working in care and for yourselves too. Hang in there, Weesp!

Bas Jan van Bochove

Mayor of Weesp (acting)

Watch the press conference of 28th September in English

In this video, you can follow Mark Rutte’s part of the press conference in English, in which the prime ministers brings you up to date on the measures for the coming period, so you can understand the latest news on the corona virus in your own language.

How can we keep coronavirus out?

Contactgegevens

Bezoekadres

Nieuwstraat 70a
1381 BD  Weesp

Tel: (0294) 491 391

Belastingen tel: (020) 255 4800

E-mail: info@weesp.nl

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