Corona update: Evening closing extended, elementary school close week earlier

The number of corona infections is still very high

However, it does appear cautiously that we are past this peak of the delta variant. The effects of the measures and our joint efforts are therefore visible. But as long as hospitals are full and regular treatments and surgeries are being postponed, we must continue to reduce the virus.
In addition, there is cause for concern and caution due to the new omikron variant. This variant is expected to take the place of the delta variant in the coming weeks. There are still many uncertainties regarding infectiousness, protection by current vaccines, and severity of the disease.
That's why the government is extending the measures that have been in place since November 28, 2021 until at least Friday, January 14, 2022. Also, elementary school, schools for special primary education and the BSO will close the week before the Christmas break. The out-of-school care (also known in Dutch as BSO) will be open during the schools' Christmas school vacations. Elementary school will start again on Monday, January 10, 2022.

Measures and urgent advice

The following applies to everyone:
  • Stay at home as much as possible. Still out and about? Limit your contacts.
  • Keep 1.5 meters distance everywhere.
  • Be careful with visitors:
  • Do not receive more than 4 people aged 13 and over per day at home. Visit no more than once a day.
  • If you visit others or receive visitors, do a self-test.
  • People aged 70 and over are advised to limit their contacts as much as possible, including with children and keep 1.5 meters away from them.
  • A mouth mask requirement (from age 13) applies in and around public transport and when walking around school or in indoor public places such as stores, museums and the hospitality industry.
  • A corona admission ticket is mandatory for everyone aged 13 and over in the hospitality industry, theaters and concert halls, museums, indoor sports venues and cinemas. Mandatory seating and 1.5-meter spacing also apply here.
  • Most venues and events have a closing time between 5pm and 5am.
  • Essential stores such as supermarkets and drugstores, are open until 8:00 pm. 
  • Specific services such as the notary or lawyer, mortgage broker and medical contact professions have normal opening hours.
  • Amateur sports (competitions and training) are not allowed between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. Top-class sports (training and playing games) and professional practice of art and culture are allowed after 5:00 pm. Without public.
  • At transit locations, a maximum of 1 visitor per 5 m2 applies.
  • In higher education the maximum group size is 75 persons at 1.5 meters distance. And in theater and concert halls, a maximum of 1250 people is allowed.
  • The home working advice is 'Work at home. If that is not possible: always keep a distance of 1.5 meters at work'.

 

Financial support

For entrepreneurs, companies, self-employed persons, cultural institutions and sports organizations that are affected by these measures, the government will extend the support package until the first quarter of 2022. For this purpose, the cabinet will allocate 4.4 billion euros. The support for the events sector will be extended until the third quarter. This support applies if an event in this period is banned by the central government. However, the own risk for the organizers increases.

 

Boostervaccin campaign

Because of the omikron variant, every person over 18 will be offered a booster no later than the second half of January.

A booster can help increase protection against this variant and prevent it from spreading. Until now, vaccination has been done from old to young and we will continue to do so. The booster is given after 3 months instead of 6 months after the last vaccination or coronal infection. A total of 8.5 million adults will then still be offered a booster. Before the end of the year, almost all people over 60 will receive an invitation for a booster.