Autumn is well and truly upon us in the Netherlands, and that can only mean one thing: change, change and more change! From changing weather to changing time zones, we’ll give you the rundown of everything expats need to know about October 2023 in the Netherlands.

1. Coronavirus booster campaign begins on October 2

The government has announced a new round of boosters against the COVID-19 virus, which will be available from October 2. Around 4,8 million people who are eligible for the free booster will have already been notified about the shot and invited to make an appointment since the third week of September, but for those who haven’t booked a slot yet, appointments will be available from October 2!

Doctors and staff from Dutch hospitals are working together with municipalities to open large facilities such as sports halls to accommodate people wishing to get the booster vaccination. At the moment, the groups eligible and therefore recommended to take the shot, according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), are over-60’s, annual recipients of the flu shot, and children or adults with weakened immune systems.

2. Faster internet speeds for Ziggo clients from October 2

October 2 is also a big day for Dutch internet provider Ziggo and all of its customers, since the company will roll out faster broadband for its clients from the first Monday of the month. For Zigoo’s Basic, Start and Start XXL customers, broadband speeds will rise to 100, 200 and 400 Mbit / s respectively. 

In order to receive the faster broadband packages, customers simply need to restart their modems. This will need to be done manually, though, for users who still have not restarted their modems by November, Ziggo will automatically restart them for you.

3. T-Mobile changes name to ODIDO

Ziggo is not the only broadband provider with changes taking place lately – early in September, T-Mobile and Tele2 changed their name to ODIDO, merging into one brand in the process. Both companies agreed to merge in 2019, but only now have the two brands started to operate as one. 

So, any strange charges made to your bank account from “ODIDO” this coming month are probably just your phone or Wi-Fi bill – but always be sure to double-check that everything looks right!

4. Schools to break up for autumn holidays

In what will be good news for children across the country, schools in the Netherlands are set to break up for the autumn holidays in just a few weeks’ time! In the north of the Netherlands, the autumn holidays will run from October 21 to October 29, while schools in the rest of the country will take the week from October 14 to 22 off. Make sure to check out many of the interesting events and festivals taking place across the country to help keep the kids entertained during the break!

5. Dutch election campaigns kick off

In other news, preparations are underway for the Netherlands’ 2023 general election, set to go ahead on November 22. Ahead of the big day, political parties have been busy carefully selecting candidates and creating campaigns and manifestos. 

Over the coming weeks, you can expect to see plenty of interesting debates on TV and radio, as well as rallies in the street. Though expats without Dutch citizenship can’t vote on election day, there’s nothing to say you can’t still get involved in lots of interesting debates about Dutch politics with friends, family and colleagues. It’s actually a great time to learn more about the issues that Dutch people have faced throughout their lives here!

6. Daylight Saving Time ends

As you may have noticed – it’s getting a little darker over here! Since darkness is falling around 8pm now, it’s nearly time for the clocks to go back! Daylight Saving Time will end on October 29, signalling the start of those oh-so-gezellig dark winter nights!

7. Amsterdam Dance event returns

Finally, an October update for the cool people of Amsterdam: ADE is back and ready to party! The Amsterdam Dance Event will be taking place in the capital from October 18 to October 22. 

The festival will feature dance music legends from Martin Garrix to Armin van Buuren, and everything in between. Take a look at the ADE website to see if there are any tickets available for your favourite dance music stars.

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