No Additional COVID-19 Restrictions for Dutch Education Sector
The Dutch education sector has been spared any additional COVID-19 regulations with prime minister Mark Rutte saying that "education is too important" to impose more restrictions. However, other sectors – like restaurants, bars and cafés – were not able to escape as the government announced a partial lockdown for at least a month as of Wednesday 10 p.m. with a series of new regulations.
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has renewed its call on students and staff to wear face masks inside buildings and to observe other safety precautions, like keeping a social distance of 1.5 m, regularly washing hands and limiting the number of people in classrooms.
The government is currently drafting legislation which would allow them to make the wearing of masks indoors compulsory. In the meantime, people are urgently advised to do so when going into supermarkets, shops, libraries and other buildings. If passed, this will also apply to the entire higher education sector.
New regulations include:
- No more than three visitors to your home in a 24-hour period, excluding children under the age of 13.
- Group sizes in public places and spaces should be no more than four people from different households.
- You should travel as little as possible.
- If you arrive in the Netherlands back from an orange country, you should go into quarantine for 10 days.
- For travel abroad, see advice issued by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Most European countries are now at least orange, which means all but essential travel should be avoided.
- Working from home is to become the norm again, and officials are talking to unions and employers to make sure this is made possible.
- Cafés, bars and restaurants in the Netherlands are to be shut for at least four weeks, but they may open for takeaways.
- Hotels may continue to serve food to their guests and cafés may remain open past airport security gates.
- Coffee shops will also be closed, but open for takeaway up to 8 p.m. It will be an offence to use or carry alcohol or drugs in public places between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Gyms and swimming pools remain open.
- Team sports for adults in groups of more than four are being halted and junior sports competitions are also being paused to stop people having to travel to away matches.
- Training will continue for youth players, but canteens and changing rooms remain closed.
- Professional football competitions will continue, but without supporters.
- All events for over 30 people have been cancelled.
- Cinemas and theatres, and all indoor seating areas regardless of size will be restricted to 30 ticketholders.
- Visits to museums are unchanged. Tickets must be bought in advance to ensure a spread of visitor numbers.
- The wearing of face masks is strongly recommended, and will become compulsory once the legalities have been sorted out.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press