Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in the Netherlands partially relax COVID-19 restrictions May 19. Significant social distancing requirements remain.

This alert affects Netherlands

This alert began 20 May 2020 12:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Jun 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 partially relaxed restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) May 19. People from different households are now permitted to meet outside, though they are required to remain at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. The government still advises people to work from home where possible. From June 1, people using public transport will be legally required to wear facemasks.

Although some nonessential businesses, including hairdressers, beauticians, and other similar professions, are permitted to operate, cafes and restaurants will remain closed until 1200 June 1. There is no scheduled date as to when fitness centers will reopen.

Primary schools began to reopen May 11 and will open to all students from June 8, when daycare facilities will also be permitted to reopen. Secondary and higher educational facilities will be permitted to reopen from June 15.

Authorities have extended an entry ban on foreign nationals until June 15; Netherlands residents and nationals of the EU, the Schengen Area, and the UK are exempt. 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.

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 government measures correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments 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.

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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