Since the past week, it has become clear that the Omicron variant is spreading very rapidly in the Netherlands too and it has led government to take the decision of Covid-19 Lockdown in the Netherlands. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) expects that this variant will be the dominant variant in the Netherlands by the end of December.
This is a sooner than previously expected decision but is the best decision government could take for the welfare of the citizens of the Netherlands and this is why the government has decided a nation-wide Covid-19 Lockdown in the Netherlands from Sunday 19 December until at least Friday 14 January 2022.
The rapid increase in infections means the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and ICUs will rise further before the end of the year. It is therefore looking increasingly likely that the healthcare system will become overburdened in January. We all want hospital and GP care to be available when we need it. The spread of the Omicron variant must be slowed as soon as possible in order to ensure healthcare services remain available to all.
Here is the government approved guideline on what to follow during Covid-19 Lockdown in the Netherlands:
Basic rules for all
- Wash your hands often and well.
- Stay 1.5 at least metres apart.
- If you have symptoms, stay at home, get isolated and get tested as soon as possible.
- Ensure a good flow of fresh air indoors.
At home and at work
- Stay at home as much as possible. If you do go out, limit contact with others and stay 1.5 metres apart.
- If you test positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate. The people you live with must self-quarantine, even if they have been vaccinated or have had coronavirus before.
- If you had contact with someone who has or may have coronavirus and are unsure whether you need to self-quarantine, do the Quarantine Check.
- Work from home. If this is impossible, stay 1.5 metres apart at work.
- Receive no more than 2 visitors aged 13 and over per day. On 24, 25 and 26 December and on 31 December and 1 January the maximum number of visitors aged 13 and over is 4 per day.
- Limit visits to one a day.
- Do a self-test before visiting others or receiving visitors.
- People aged 70 and over are advised to limit contact with others. Keep 1.5 metres apart from others, also from children.
Locations that will be closed
Most locations closed due to Covid-19 Lockdown in the Netherlands, includes:
- Food and drink venues such as restaurants and bars.
- Locations for artistic and cultural activities, such as cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
- Zoos and amusement parks.
- Indoor sporting locations, such as gyms and swimming pools.
- Non-essential shops such as clothing shops, department stores and hardware shops.
A few locations may remain open:
- Essential shops such as supermarkets, pet shops, chemists, opticians and wholesalers may open from 05:00 to 20:00.
- Service providers such as lawyers and notaries may be open for their regular opening hours.
- Daycare centres for children aged 0 to 4 are open.
- From Monday 20 December 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022 primary schools and schools for special primary education will be closed. Out-of-school care facilities (BSO) will also be closed.
- Schools will be open to provide emergency childcare for vulnerable children and the children of key workers in crucial sectors.
- BSO facilities are only open during this period to provide emergency childcare.
- Schools that are unable to put this emergency childcare into place in time must close no later than Tuesday 21 December 2021, as must out-of-school care facilities.
- Secondary schools will be closed from Monday 20 December 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022.
- Secondary vocational institutions (MBO) will be closed from Monday 20 December 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022.
- Higher education institutions (HBO and universities) will be closed from Monday 20 December 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022.
- Accredited (further) education may take place in the evenings.
- All indoor sports venues are closed.
- Professional sports and swimming lessons for A, B and C level swimming certificates may take place.
- Outdoor sporting locations may open between 05:00 and 17:00.
- Within the Netherlands: stay at home as much as possible. If you do go out, limit contact with others and stay 1.5 metres apart.
- Abroad: the Dutch government issues travel advice per country. If you have holiday plans, travel smart. Travelling is still a risk, and will remain a risk. Check the travel advice on Wijsopreis.nl.
The government is taking all the possible steps to prevent the citizens. To increase protection against the Omicron variant, everyone aged 18 and over will be invited to receive a booster vaccination as soon as possible. Getting a booster offers the best protection against this variant. The aim is to ensure that as many people aged 60 and over as possible receive their booster before the end of the year. Where capacity allows, people aged 60 and over who already have a booster appointment for January will be invited to move their appointment forward.
These above mentioned measures of Covid-19 Lockdown in the Netherlands the will be reviewed up to January 14 and could positively be lifted earlier if the infection rate slows down.
To know about the origin of Omicron variant in the Netherlands, checkout the article on Deadly Covid-19 Omicron Variant in the Netherlands: A Major Health Concern.