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NL moves cautiously ahead with Step One of Openingsplan

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 decision to implement the first step in the Openingsplan. This means there will be a number of relaxations to regulations that were enforced to slow the spread of the corona virus in the Netherlands.

"More and more people are being vaccinated against the corona virus, which means that soon fewer people will fall ill. It is expected that the number of new hospital admissions will decrease. Opening up society step by step is not without risks. However the government is also looking at the social and economic importance. Therefore, the Kabinet will take the first cautious step in the Openingsplan on 28 April."

On 28 April, the following regulations will be lifted or adjusted – all other regulations remain in place:

End of avondklok (curfew)

At 04:30 on the morning of 28 April the avondklok will be lifted.

Residents can welcome up to two guests at home

The advice for guests at private residences will change. The new guidelines are:

  • visit a maximum of two people per day;

  • visit other households no more than once a day;

  • limit the number of different contact moments in one week;

  • always wash your hands when entering any house, and

  • maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.

Open terrasjes

Outdoor restaurant and café terraces may open from 12:00-18:00, subject to certain conditions.

  • the maximum number of patrons on one terrace is 50;

  • a maximum of two people may sit at a table while maintaining 1.5 metres distance, unless they are from the same household and/or children up to 12 years old;

  • visitors can pay inside the establishment and use the toilet and the cloakroom;

  • a face mask is required inside.

In the next steps of the opening plan, the conditions for the hospitality and catering industry will be expanded.

Shops and markets open

All shops will be allowed to receive customers without a shopping appointment. However, conditions do apply such as a maximum number of customers in a shop. It is still important to avoid crowds. Therefore, the government asks residents to go to a shop at a quiet time, such as early in the morning, and if possible, go alone. Non-essential shops, such as clothes shops, can be open between the hours of 06:00-18:00. Essential shops, such as supermarkets, can open at their usual times. Wearing a face mask in shops remains mandatory.

Non-food items may also be sold at commodity markets again. For example, clothing and cosmetics.

Tertiary education in-person lessons one day a week

From Monday 26 April students at universities and colleges will be able to attend classes on location approximately one day a week. This is only possible under certain conditions, such as maintaining 1.5m distance. As of May, self-tests will become available for students and employees.

Theory exams

Theory exams for attaining a driving, sailing or flying license will be possible again.


The maximum number of people attending a funeral will be increased to 100.

The second step in the opening plan is planned for 11 May at the earliest. Then, for example, it will be possible to be able to do more at outdoor locations, such as zoos and amusement parks. Under certain conditions, it will also be possible to play sports indoors again and even more outdoors.

On 3 May, the Rijksoverheid will hear whether this second step can be taken. At that time, more will also be known about the travel advice. Which other measures will be released, if the figures allow, can be seen in the overview of the Openingsplan.

Vaccination is an important step towards a society without the corona virus. According to the schedule, everyone aged 18 and over who wants to be vaccinated will have had their first injection by the beginning of July 2021. Head over to the government.nl website to view the vaccination schedule for people who do not work in healthcare and the vaccination schedule for healthcare workers.

The basic rules help to prevent that you and others become infected with the corona virus, even for those who have been vaccinated.

To prevent infection, it remains important to do the following:

Wash your hands

Good hygiene prevents the spread of virus particles. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Especially when you come home or when you visit someone. Touch your face as little as possible. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Wear a face mask in enclosed public places. This prevents the corona virus from spreading.

Maintain 1.5 metres distance

Also from family or friends. If people are physically close to each other, the corona virus can be passed on very quickly. Therefore, limit contact moments and avoid crowded places.

Get tested

Do you have symptoms? Stay at home and arrange an appointment to get tested immediately, even if you have a mild cold such as a runny nose. Also stay at home until you have the test results. That way you can be sure that you are not infecting other people with the corona virus.

Want to know more about the data surrounding the corona virus situation in the Netherlands? Then take a look at the Corona Dashboard.

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