Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in the Netherlands extend most COVID-19 restrictions through May 19; primary schools permitted to partially reopen from May 11.

This alert affects Netherlands

This alert began 28 Apr 2020 12:27 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in the Netherlands have extended the majority of restrictions imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19 through at least May 19. From May 11, primary schools and childcare facilities are permitted to reopen on a limited basis.

Extended restrictions include:

  • Instructions to remain at home for all but essential activities.
  • Requirement for individuals to remain at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart.
  • A ban on most gatherings of more than two people.
  • Closure of bars, restaurants, and entertainment establishments.
  • Instructions for all operating businesses, including public transport providers, to undertake measures to keep people 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart.
  • Individuals arriving on flights from high-risk destinations are required to complete a health screening before boarding, and are strongly advised to self-isolate for 14-days.


From April 29, children under the age of 18 are permitted to gather in public to play sports or take part in exercise, though children between the ages of 13-18 must remain at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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