Coronavirus Abstract

We hope you and your family remain in good health and the distance learning programme is going well.

The following details the latest information regarding the Coronavirus impact in the Netherlands.

Last night (23.03.20), the Dutch Government has held another official press conference broadcasted directly on National television. The reason for this action was the fact that so many people ignored the Government’s advice last weekend and went out to parks, beaches and other open-air locations without obeying the call to refrain from social grouping and keeping a distance from each other. Mayors throughout the Nation have asked for more tools so they can manage and control the public in following the Authorities instructions.

The Dutch PM and other responsible Ministers have given a serious warning that if these more stringent rules, which come into effect as of today, are not followed, the only other option to be taken is a total lock down; this is not the Dutch Government’s strategy at this date.

So, what has been decided?

  1. NO gatherings anywhere. This means that three people together need to maintain the distance of 1.5 meters. If this is not adhered to, you are in violation of the guidelines.
  2. ALL public events will be cancelled until 1 June (NO Kings Day celebrations, NO 4/5 May ceremonies/celebrations etc.)
  3. STAY HOME and do not go out unless the need is urgent or an emergency. You are allowed to do your food shopping however it is advised that you do this on your own. So, one person per family. Stores will be asked to implement a door policy which may mean one out, one in. The policy needs to be visible at the entrance and needs to be adhered to by all parties involved (shop owners and shoppers). Hairdressers and nail parlours are to be closed.
  4. Mayors are given the legal rights and tools through the local law enforcement regulations to close public venues, and to check on events which may have more than three people. They will be authorised to implement fines to those who are in violation of the rules above. For individuals these fines can be up to €400 and for businesses and companies up to €4000 per violation. An exception may be in place for funerals, church marriages and markets. Markets are considered part of the food supply chain. However here too, the number of participants is restricted and the distance between people needs to be adhered to and facilitated.
  5. People are advised not to welcome more than three guests/visitors into their private house. The strong message is to keep your distance.
  6. If one person in the family is sick or is showing minor symptoms of illness, the whole family stays inside.
  7. Schools: ALL schools remain closed for now until 6 April. The Government has stated that they will update with more information regarding the schools prior to 6 April.
  8. With regards to final exams, many Dutch schools are deciding to cancel the school exams for now. In the Netherlands, the final exams consist of two parts; school exams and state exams. The school exams are normally starting around this date, with state exams commencing in May. As of today, the Dutch state exams have been cancelled. Schools are allowed to administer school exams up until 1 June and will determine based on these results whether a student passes or fails.

The more stringent approach, which is in effect of today, will allow and enable the Authorities such as police to enforce the law and government policy more rigidly. The Dutch PM has stated that even though the majority of the Dutch population are following the policy there remain too many people (also younger people) who are not taking the matter seriously enough.

Some other news related to this global crisis:

  1. Some supermarkets (Jumbo and Albert Heijn) have special shopping hours for people belonging to the age group 70+. As of yesterday, these people can shop between 07.00 and 08.00 hours. Check with your local supermarket.
  2. Corendon, one of the larger travel companies has immediately stopped all travel until 1 June. People who have booked a holiday with them will receive a voucher valid for a later trip.
  3. The Dutch Government has decided to start an operation to get Dutch people stranded abroad back to the Netherlands. Last week they also announced to financially support entrepreneurs big and small, who are immediately affected by the “STAY HOME” policy of the Government. Many are without income, cannot pay their personnel and/or do not have any revenues due to lack of/no business. Please be aware that our partners such as bus companies and Sodexo as well as other contractors are affected.
  4. Many museums offer virtual tours on the internet accessible via Google Arts & Culture. Here are some of the museums: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam, Museum of the Beaux Arts in Brussels, Pergamonmuseum in Berlin, Galleri degli Uffzi in Florence, British Museum London, Getty Museum Los Angeles, Museo National de Antropologica Mexico City, Guggenheim in New York, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, MASP in Sao Paulo, Nat.Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts in Seoul, Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
  5. If you have received a National alert on your phone last Sunday this was to inform people to keep distance and remain at home. Please be aware and keep in mind that the borders remain closed for the majority of people (some exceptions in place) and that it will be difficult to cross. Belgium and Germany have their own rules. Fines are also in place.

We will keep you updated as more National information becomes available.

AIS and General

Please keep in touch with your National Sections if you have any queries or concerns at this present time and we ask that you report to your National Section if you or your family have been told you have the coronavirus, as this helps us to maintain accurate records.

Reminder: Reporting Instructions

The following link provides the most up to date information available from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) It states:

Should you stay at home or call your GP?

Do you have symptoms of a cold, or a fever of up to 38.0 degrees Celsius?

  • If so, stay at home, allow the illness to run its course and make sure that you do not infect others. You should therefore distance yourself from other people. You do not need to call your GP. Your symptoms are mild.

Are your symptoms worsening?

  • Do you have a fever (more than 38 degrees Celsius) and are you coughing or having difficulty breathing?
  • If so, you should call your GP or the out-of-hours medical centre. Get in touch immediately if you are experiencing severe
  • GGD on 088 – 880-5070 or 088 – 880-5000

Keep safe and well

Please continue to follow our website and twitter messages.

AIS Directorate

See also:

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