At the press conference on Tuesday, September 14, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced a handful of relaxations to the national coronavirus measures, and introduced a new coronavirus certificate system for the hospitality and cultural sectors. The new measures will come into effect on Saturday, September 25.

1,5-metre distance rule lifted, coronavirus certificates introducedAfter a year and a half, the Dutch government has lifted the 1,5-metre distance rule. This means businesses will no longer have to enforce social distancing rules at their establishments, and will be able to welcome more customers / visitors. 

The lifting of the rule, however, does come with a caveat – so-called coronavirus certificates are now mandatory in the hospitality and cultural industries:

Everyone over the age of 13 will have to present proof of vaccination / recent recovery / a negative test via the CoronaCheck app Certificates will be mandatory for bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, nightclubs, and (professional sporting) events Applies for indoor and outdoor spaces / events New COVID-19 rules for events, festivals, and nightclubsAs more restrictions are lifted, Rutte and De Jonge also announced new COVID-19 rules for events and festivals:

Multi-day events are permitted (both indoor and outdoor) Seated and non-seated events are permitted (both indoor and outdoor at 100 percent capacity) Maximum 75 percent capacity for indoor non-seated events (i.e. concerts) Event organisers must request coronavirus certificates from those in attendance (at multi-day events, certificates must be checked every 24 hours) In addition to the relaxed rules for the events industry, nightclubs will once again be able to open their doors on September 25:

Must adhere to enforced opening times (i.e. close at midnight) All those in attendance must present a coronavirus certificate Dutch government relaxes travel restrictions and quarantine ruleWhile travel within the EU opened up just in time for the summer holidays, international travel has remained tricky. On Tuesday, Rutte and De Jonge confirmed that certain restrictions would be relaxed for international travel. As of September 22, vaccinated travellers from very high-risk areas (i.e. the US and the UK) will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.

New coronavirus rules for schools in the NetherlandsFrom September 25, new rules will also apply to schools in the Netherlands. Sticking to the advice set out by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), whole classes will no longer be sent home to isolate if one student tests positive for COVID-19. Instead, only students who have been in close contact with the infected child will have to isolate.

Face masks are also no longer mandatory in secondary education and universities, and the rule for a maximum group size of 75 people won’t apply after September 25.

The Netherlands extends some restrictions until NovemberWhile many aspects of society continue to open up, certain restrictions and basic rules will remain in place until (at least) November 1:

Restricted opening times for the catering industry (6 am – 12 am) Wear a face mask on public transport and at airports Ensure proper ventilation in all indoor spaces If you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19 then stay home and get tested The so-called work from home advice has been amended slightly: members of the public are now asked to work from home when possible, work from the office when necessary.

The next coronavirus press conference is scheduled to take place in November.

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