NL announces move to implement Step Four of Openingsplan earlier than expected on 26 June
The Netherlands' Premier Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge from Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport gave a press conference in Den Haag this evening where they announced their plans to implement Step Four in the Openingsplan a few days earlier than planned, and include further relaxations than expected.
"The corona vaccination strategy is making swift progress. More than 13 million vaccinations have already been given. Almost 5 million people in the Netherlands are now fully vaccinated and over 4 million have had their first injection. Starting tomorrow, 18-year-olds may be able to make an appointment. This means that by mid-July, everyone who wants to be vaccinated in the Netherlands will have had their first and often also their second vaccination.
We can see this in the infection figures and in the number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19. These figures are now rapidly decreasing.
Most regulations are therefore no longer necessary. The Kabinet has therefore decided to continue with and even speed up the implementations of Step 4 of the Openingsplan. From 26 June onwards, all doors will be open, with a distance of 1.5 metres remaining the all-important norm. Where 1.5 metres is not possible, such as in public transport, in secondary schools or at events and festivals, face masks will be required or one can only enter with a coronatoegangsbewijs.
Basic rules remain necessary
Despite these positive reports, the virus has not gone away. The virus is unpredictable and new variants continue to emerge. We must therefore remain cautious and alert. This can be done by sticking to the basic rules:.
Hygiene remains important. Wash your hands regularly. Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
Do you have complaints? Stay at home and get yourself tested for corona immediately.
There are people who cannot be vaccinated or have not yet been (fully) vaccinated because it is not their turn. Still be careful and give each other space in crowded places. Keeping one and a half metres away is still the best thing you can do to prevent the virus from spreading.
Step 4 Opening plan as from 26 June
Restrictions on home visits and group formation are lifted
As from 26 June, there will be no more restrictions on the number of visitors people can receive at home. The restriction on forming groups will also lapse. Currently, people are allowed to gather in groups of no more than four people, for example in the park or in a restaurant. This rule will no longer apply. However, it is important to keep a 1.5 metres distance from visitors at home and from others outside the home.
Obligation to wear a face mask largely disappears
The requirement to wear a face mask has largely been dropped. Only where it is really impossible to maintain the 1.5 metre requirement will the obligation to wear a face mask remain in force. This is the case in passenger transport, public transport and in designated areas around public transport, such as stations. Also at airports and in aircraft, and in secondary education.
From working at home to working partly at the office
The advice "work at home, unless you have to" is changing. Employees who still work at home may, in consultation with their employer, also work at the office for a maximum of half of their time. At the office, the 1.5 metre rule always applies, even in the lift or the cafeteria. The Kabinet calls on people to travel on quiet days and to go to the office outside rush hour as much as possible.
All venues and events open on 1.5 metres, with conditions
From 26 June onwards, everything will be open with regular opening hours. However, a number of conditions still apply to both indoor and outdoor spaces. In areas where people have a fixed seat, people must be seated at a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. This means that in a theatre, not every seat can be occupied and in a restaurant, the tables and chairs must be sufficiently far apart. Registration and a check-in are still compulsory. In areas where people have no fixed seats, such as in a shop or museum, the maximum capacity is one visitor per 5 m2 . If use is made of the coronatoegangsbewijs, the obligation of 1.5 metres is dropped and the regular capacity applies.
From 26 June onwards, all events that take place in regular public places, such as the hospitality industry, cinemas, exhibition and conference centres or pop podiums, will be permitted. This means that venues with permanent seating can use 100% of the 1.5 metre capacity. At flow-through locations, such as shops and museums, one visitor per 5 m2 may be received. From 30 June 2021, other events with a permit requirement will be permitted under certain conditions.
Sport and the 1.5 metre rule
Amateur matches will be allowed again for everyone from 26 June. Even with spectators, they have to keep a distance of one and a half metres from each other.
Venues and events with coronatoegangsbewijs without 1.5 metres
Where coronatoegangsbewijs apply, the 1.5 metre requirement need not be observed. From 23 June onwards, in addition to tests for access, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate can also be used as a coronatoegangsbewijs. These three possibilities can be shown in the (update of the) CoronaCheck app. A coronatoegangsbewijs will probably be an option for an event or festival, for example. Dance venues, such as nightclubs and discotheques, can also open without restrictions by using the coronatoegangsbewijs.
Alcohol sales and singing, shouting and blowing advice
The ban on selling alcohol after 22:00. will end on 26 June. This also applies to the ban on having and drinking alcohol in public areas after 22:00. The singing, shouting and blowing advice will also lapse.
Free corona test for travel
Travellers who are travelling from the Netherlands to a foreign country in July or August can get tested free of charge. The free tests are intended for travellers who have not yet been (fully) vaccinated and who need to be tested prior to their trip abroad this summer.
All basic rules still apply. In mid-August, the Kabinet will examine how and when the last step of the opening plan (abandoning the one and a half metre and other basic rules) can be taken."