**Please be aware that due to the speed of developments regarding COVID-19 that the information contained in this article may be out-of-date by the time you read it. Please use the links to get the latest information**
Our hearts go out to anyone who has been affected or is in a community that has imposed restrictions on their daily life both here in The Netherlands as in your home countries. We hope that you and your loved ones are well.
With coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to spread many countries are taking protective measures. The Netherlands is no exception and we wanted to give you all the information you need from the Dutch government.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) issued a health emergency late January 2020. As of this week the status has officially changed to pandemic (epidemic that is spreading at global scale). They’ve created an interactive world map which people can use to stay updated on the virus globally.
At the time of writing (13/03/2020) the cases in the Netherlands have reached just over 800, mainly focused in the North Brabant province in the South. You’ve most likely seen the headlines yourself but we wanted to make sure that you have all the information at our disposal to make yourself as safe and secure as possible at this time.
The New Measures for The Netherlands - Apply Nationwide
As of the 12/03/2020 the Dutch government has revised its approach to the virus and has implemented the following until the 31/03/2020:
- People throughout the Netherlands are encouraged to work from home or stagger their working times if possible.
- For everyone in the Netherlands: stay at home if you have a cold, a cough, a sore throat or a fever. Avoid contact with others (social distancing). Only call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
- Gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled throughout the Netherlands. This includes the closure of public places such as museums, concert venues, theatres, sports clubs and the cancellation of sports matches and other events.
- For vulnerable people (the elderly and those with weakened immune systems): avoid large gatherings and public transport. People in general are urged to limit visits to vulnerable persons.
- For healthcare workers and staff in other crucial sectors: a lot is being asked of you. You should stay at home only if you have symptoms including a fever. If necessary, consult with your employer. Please do not travel abroad.
- Universities and institutions of higher professional education (HBO) are requested to offer online lectures instead of large-scale lectures.
- Primary schools, secondary schools, secondary vocational schools (MBO) and childcare centres will remain open as usual. There have been only a few infections there and these environments are less international. Children and young people are not high-risk groups. Closing schools would have a major impact on society without contributing significantly to reducing the spread of coronavirus. Children who have symptoms of a cold should stay at home.
- No need to stock up/plunder groceries and please be mindful of people working in social services who can only visit supermarkets in the evening.
The National Institute for Public Health has recommended implementing the following basic practices to keep yourself safe:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze in the inside of your elbow
- Use tissue paper
- Do not shake hands
- Stay home if you have a cold
As long as you adhere to the measures being recommended by the government and your employer then there is no cause to be alarmed. This situation is not ideal and we appreciate that the future is uncertain at this point.
Resources to stay up to date
- World Health Organisation
- Interactive global map of the current situation (WHO)
- Government of The Netherlands
- RIVM Institute of Public Health
- FAQ’s (in dutch) from the RIVM
If you would like to speak to any of the Settly team about your concerns then we are here to help. Take care and stay safe!
The Settly team