Libraries and museums to reopen on Thursday
Swimming pools are allowed to reopen and group sports lessons may resume as well. The partial lockdown in the Netherlands will remain in place until at least mid-December, however. People are now allowed to receive three visitors per day and a maximum of four people from different households can be out in public together. Restaurants and pubs will remain closed and public events are still banned.
Wearing face masks in public spaces will be mandatory starting December 1. Higher education students will have to wear masks around university facilities, but not in classrooms. Until now, wearing a mask has been merely ‘urgently recommended’.
Additionally, per December 1, people who are notified by the CoronaMelder tracking app or the GGD health service that they have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus will be able to get a test. They will first need to self-isolate for five days, however. If after that, the test comes back negative, they’re allowed to come out of isolation.
Health minister Hugo de Jonge stated that there will be no mandatory vaccination against the coronavirus. ‘We will only use the vaccines if they prove to be effective and safe’, he said. Nevertheless, the government expects at least 70 percent of the population to be vaccinated.
It is still unclear what rules will be in place during the December festivities. The prime minister recommended that people shop for gifts alone and look for creative solutions in terms of home celebrations. ‘If the number of people gets too big, you can also spread out the festivities over several days’, he said. More information will follow around early December. ‘We shouldn’t give ourselves a third wave for Christmas’, added the health minister.