COVID-19 update | 2 November 2020

Corona News Update 2 November 2020
– Written by Bart Swinkels –

So, we’ve just had the long-awaited press conference after evaluating the partial lockdown we are currently in, and tonight’s press conference is a bit of a mixed bag.

Although infection rates really seem to be decreasing, the decrease is not rapid enough. Furthermore, it is only the national rate that does decrease. In certain regions* and population groups, the infection rate keeps increasing, in particular amongst the elderly and people with weaker health. As a consequence of this, the Dutch healthcare system is running near its max capacity. Currently, urgent issues can – in general – still be handled, but there is a serious risk of the healthcare system being overwhelmed. That is also the main reason why new measures will be imposed as of tomorrow 22.00h.

The following additional measures will apply starting Wednesday 4-11 at 22.00h and will be in effect for two weeks. After that, we’re back in the current partial lockdown as currently is, until mid-December at least.

– Avoid all unnecessary movements. Ask yourself, ‘Do I have to leave the house?” If it is not absolutely required, just don’t go out.**
– Group size outside is limited to two people, so you and one friend. Indoors, you’re strongly recommended to only have two guests per day over.
– All publicly available places will close for two weeks. This includes theatres, cinemas, swimming pools, etcetera.

Gyms, stores, supermarkets, take-away restaurants, hotels and hairdressers will remain open, but again, please ask yourself whether you really have to go. All stores, except supermarkets, will close at 20.00h. Please check below for a full list of what will be closed, as published by the Govt.***

– Travel recommendations for all countries are now to orange, meaning there is a strong advice not to leave the country. Necessary travels are still possible, but do mean a 10-day self-isolation period upon returning to the Netherlands. The Dutch Caribbean Islands are in this case not regarded as outside NL.
– Face masks in public spaces will be mandatory from December 1st at the latest, but possibly earlier.
– For weddings and funerals, the maximum number of guests is 20 and 30 respectively as of Monday the 9th.

To combat loneliness, we are encouraged to check up on our friends, neighbors and people we care about. These are truly difficult times, especially if you have to self-isolate. These are hard times for all of us, but we will have to deal with it for a while still. Do keep in touch with your friends!

As indicated previously, there currently are significant regional differences. In the regions that are worst off, and the regions that remain the worst off over multiple days, will most likely see additional measures. That includes a potential curfew, closure of stores, and a shutdown of schools. If such additional measures will be announced, I will of course inform you!

The choice for not imposing a total lockdown is due to the expected R-rate of below 1. Regional differences combined with desired proportionality of measures in the country bring some areas on the brink of a further lockdown, but this is not something the Govt. wants to impose on everyone if not absolutely necessary.

Regarding Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the celebrations in NL will not be as usual. There will likely be a ban on all fireworks to prevent additional pressure on the hospitals. More on this will follow some time in the next two weeks.

Quite a lot of the measures have details and asterisks this time, I hope everything is clear. If that would not be the case, feel free to ask for a clarification and I’ll try to help you out!

* In 13 out of 25 regions, the infection rate seems to be increasing. A few regions now seem to negatively jump out, as visible on the Coronadashboard, these are Rotterdam (region Rotterdam-Rijnmond), Dordrecht (region Zuid-Holland-Zuid), Enschede (region Twente). Looking at the map, other regions potentially at risk include

** Education is essential, but mostly available digitally at this point. Watch communication from your University and your faculty – they have until tomorrow to announce how they will react to the new government guidelines.


Remain open/possible:

– Supermarkets
– Markets
– Take-away food venues
– Hotels
– Funeral homes
– Public demonstrations and gatherings, if 1,5m is respected

Will be closed:
– Museums
– Theatres
– Sexclubs
– Cinemas
– Amusement parks
– Zoos
– Swimming pools
– Libraries
– Restaurants
– Community buildings (‘verenigingshuizen’ and ‘buurthuizen’ in Dutch)