Staying 1.5 metres apart discontinued

As of 25 September 2021, the requirement to stay 1.5 metres apart has been discontinued. 1.5 metres is a safe distance to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, and is still urgently recommended. This recommendation is in line with ‘giving each other space’. Organisations can choose to continue distancing, for example because they are interacting with a vulnerable target group. Organisations can assess the situation themselves and choose an appropriate response. It is still possible to use all or part of the Generic framework for coronavirus measures that was in effect until 25 September 2021.

Current measures and recommendations

The measures and recommendations that will continue to apply for companies, organisations, institutions, local government authorities, associations and clubs are as follows:

  • If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested immediately by the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) 
    • Stay home if you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, even if your symptoms are mild, and even if you are vaccinated. Stay home until the test results are known.
  • Hygiene measures remain in place
    • The hygiene guidelines will continue to be applicable. 
    • Additional hygiene measures will continue to be applicable: sneeze into your elbow, do not shake hands, wash hands frequently, and regularly clean frequent touch points such as doorknobs.
  • Ventilation measures remain in place  
    • Ventilation of indoor spaces must comply with the regulations and occupational health and safety guidelines. 
    • It is important for an accommodation space to be ventilated 24 hours a day through natural ventilation (grilles above a window, gaps), or by mechanical ventilation systems.
  • Air out an accommodation space at least once a day for about 10 to 15 minutes. You should also air out the space for 10 to 15 minutes if rapid air exchange is required, for example after holding a meeting indoors. To air out an indoor space, open windows and doors wide. 
    • Checking coronavirus entry passes 
  • From 25 September 2021 on, businesses in various sectors, such as hospitality, catering and culture, will be working with the coronavirus entry pass. For more information, see: Government.nl
  • RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has additional recommendations for employees who are in a risk group  and for pregnant employees. Sector associations and employers will define policies for risk groups, in order to ensure that working conditions are as safe as possible for the employees (and visitors) who are in a risk group. 
  • Visitors in a risk group, and are not protected, must determine for themselves whether they are able and willing to visit such a facility or event.
    • Use of personal protective equipment
  • The use of a face mask that covers the mouth and nose is mandatory at the airport (in any case from the security check on, and at locations that are designated by the airport, such as arrival and departure halls), and in trains, buses, trams and metros. A face mask that covers the mouth and nose is also mandatory in taxis and other professional passenger transport in which someone other than the driver is travelling with multiple passengers.

Measures that are no longer required as of 25 September 2021

  • Maintain distance and guarantee that people keep moving through
  • Maximum number of visitors per room (with the exception of events indoors without assigned seats). For more information, go to Coronavirus rules for events | Coronavirus COVID-19 | Government.nl)
  • Reservation and placement
  • Health check 

Extra points for attention for contact professions

In addition to the principles outlined above, the following extra points for attention apply to people working in a contact profession:

  • Careful consideration is important in deciding whether or not to discontinue measures. Some visitors/clients who are at higher risk of a severe course of illness for COVID-19 may be insufficiently protected. For that reason, people in contact professions may want to consider maintaining some measures, such as: 
    • A health check (to confirm that visitors with symptoms will stay home and get tested by the GGD) and working by appointment
    • Staying 1.5 metres from others where possible 
  • Maintaining a focus on good hygiene measures. Clean the used materials and instruments in the treatment rooms after every client contact. Regularly clean equipment and furniture, such as chair, exercise material and examination table. 
  • Since the Netherlands is currently at the ‘Concern’ risk level, it is advisable to consider continuing preventive use of a face mask that covers the mouth and nose if it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart. In any case, continuation of this measure should be considered until the Netherlands has reached the ‘Caution’ risk level. At that level, preventive use of a face mask that covers the mouth and nose will no longer be necessary.
  • Follow the recommendations and measures of the relevant sector association and professional group, in addition to the guidelines that are in effect in the care institution if you work in that setting.

 

Transitional phase: ‘giving each other space’

Until the national risk level has dropped to ‘Caution’, organisations may want to consider continuing physical distancing and/or other measures (such as marked walking routes) if the situation demands and permits such measures. This could apply, for example, if organisations interact with people who are insufficiently protected and are in a risk group or with large groups of visitors in which blockages or queues may form. The generic principles for distancing and keeping people moving through are outlined in the generic framework from before 25 September 2021.

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment    has drawn up a generic framework of coronavirus measures for businesses, organisations, institutions, local authorities, and clubs and associations. The framework offers recommendations for how all these organisations and others can comply with the Dutch measures announced by the national government.

Guiding principles such as staying 1.5 metres apart, following hygiene measures, and the health check are the basis for this framework. These principles are in line with the basic rules for everyone.

This framework replaces previous guidance documents and assessment frameworks provided by RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment  . Specific parts of those documents have been added to this generic framework for coronavirus measures. In addition, extra considerations have been added for contact professions, sauna and wellness, choirs and vocal ensembles, athletes, indoor sports, and transport of groups to residential care locations and adult day services.

The generic framework does not focus on healthcare. More information about the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease COVID-19 specifically for the healthcare professional is available here.

Aims

The framework addresses what measures are necessary indoors and outdoors to achieve maximum control of the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Maximum control means preventing the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible. As a result, the number of new infections will drop to (almost) zero and new outbreaks will be prevented or be kept within manageable limits. The aim is to keep the reproduction number (R) below 1. This is achieved, in part, by still continuing to limit the number of contact moments, preventing groups from forming in contexts where effective distancing is impossible, controlling mobility and limiting the pressure on public spaces. In this way, people in these situations will be able to work as safely as possible. It will also be as safe as possible for visitors (customers, guests, etc.). The measures and recommendations in this framework are specifically intended to prevent infections and control the spread of the virus.

Personal responsibility

Entrepreneurs, organisations and businesses are responsible for applying the measures of the Dutch Government, local measures imposed by the security regions and/or municipal authorities, and the recommendations of this generic framework within their company/activity and ensuring the health of their employees during their work. They are also responsible for monitoring compliance with measures and recommendations.

Sectors, sector associations and umbrella organisations can use this generic framework to develop model protocols for their own sector. It is up to the company or organisation itself to use these sector-specific documents to establish its own protocol or update an existing protocol. More information about the current situation in each sector can be obtained from umbrella organisations and sector associations. More information about drawing up protocols can be found at Government.nl.

Existing guidelines, standards of quality, or laws and regulations on working conditions and other aspects may be applicable within businesses, organisations and institutions. This includes how hygiene measures or cleaning is organised. These are sometimes stricter or more detailed than this generic framework provided by RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment . Of course those existing guidelines, standards of quality or laws and regulations will take precedence in that case. Entrepreneurs, organisations and businesses can contact their own sector or the sector association for more information about the applicable guidelines, standards of quality, and laws and regulations.

Generic guiding principles indoors

1. Maintain distance and keep people moving through
Ensure that everyone can stay 1.5 metres (2 arm lengths) away from others.

Exceptions:

  • Teenagers aged 17 and under do not have to stay 1.5 metres apart from each other; 
  • Children aged 12 and under also do not have to stay 1.5 metres apart from others;
  • People who live together in the same household/family do not have to stay 1.5 metres apart from each other.

In some situations, it is not possible to stay apart from others, so the 1.5 metre rule can be temporarily lifted. These situations are described on Government.nl.

Measures to ensure that visitors and other people can stay 1.5 metres apart and to control the flow of visitors:

  • Place tables and chairs in a room/hall arranged in such a way that everyone can strictly stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Notify everyone to keep their distance from each other. Post reminders of the 1.5 metre rule in multiple locations.
  • Define fixed walking routes and mark them clearly. Arrange walking routes in such a way that people can pass each other in different directions while staying 1.5 metres apart. Otherwise, set it up for one-way traffic.
  • Have visitors wait outside (1.5 metres apart), if it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart while waiting inside. Do not let visitors in until the reserved time (if applicable).
  • Have visitors arrive/depart and enter/exit in small groups so they can stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Ensure that there is enough distance between the seats in a cinema, theatre, waiting room or lobby, etc.
  • Limit the number of people in a single room wherever possible. Always ensure that people can stay 1.5 metres apart in a room AND that the number of people in the room does not exceed maximum capacity according to the current measures.
  • Limit the number of people in sanitary facilities (washrooms, toilets and/or showers). Have visitors wait while staying 1.5 metres apart.
  • Supervise the number of people using the lift and the distance between them. For example, if the lift is small or cramped: have people take the lift up and walk down the stairs as much as possible.
  • Ensure that people move smoothly through the space and avoid congestion, for example by keeping doors open permanently.
  • Spread visitors out across the day by offering longer opening hours (obviously only within the permitted opening hours).
  • Train and supervise employees in following the measures and recommendations and monitoring that everyone stays 1.5 metres apart.
  • Minimise contact at the cash register or service desk. This can be done by having people reserve online or by phone as much as possible and providing online or contactless payment options.
  • Install a physical barrier (such as a plastic screen). Such barriers could be placed at the service desk/information desk/cash register or reception desk, when it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • An occupational hygienist can offer advice on setting up the room safely, as a workplace or for the public. Such an expert can conduct a site visit to assess the location and advise on specific measures, such as installing screens.

There may be situations in which employees are unable to stay 1.5 metres apart from each other, for example in a small kitchen. In that case, the employees must observe the extra points for attention that apply to contact professions.

2. Hygiene measures
RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has hygiene guidelines (in Dutch) for sectors and institutions such as primary schools, saunas and bathing establishments. See also the RIVM page on  hygiene and COVID-19. For public areas and sectors that do not have specific hygiene guidelines in place, there is a document outlining General Hygiene Guidelines (in Dutch). The items listed below are additional measures and recommendations in relation to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also take into account measures for hygiene or cleaning based on your own sector-specific guidelines/quality requirements or laws and regulations on working conditions and other aspects.

  • Have everyone observe the hygiene measures meticulously. Employees and visitors should do the following: wash hands regularly with soap and water, do not touch your face, do not shake hands, always cough or sneeze into your elbow, and use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use.
  • Communicate the general hygiene recommendations in multiple locations.
  • If there is a handwashing station, make sure that everyone can wash their hands with soap and water upon arrival and departure. If there is no handwashing station, advise everyone to wash their hands immediately after returning home. More information about approved disinfectants.
  • Ensure that the toilets are supplied with sufficient (hand) soap and paper towels.
  • Clean touch points, such as door handles, ATMs and multi-user touchscreens, several times a day with cleaning wipes or soap and water (for example using all-purpose cleaner).
  • Clean chairs, railings, tables, etc. and the toilets several times a day.
  • Clean the room/facility thoroughly according to the regular cleaning protocol after each working day.
  • Make sure that employees have their own dining area / break room / toilet(s) / changing room, etc., where they can stay 1.5 metres apart and follow the hygiene measures.

3. Maximum number of visitors per room

  • The general rules for indoor activities set by the Dutch Government for indoor activities must be followed.
  • In rooms for which the government has specified a maximum number of visitors (based on surface area), that number must be maintained.
  • If there are several different rooms (e.g. in halls, offices, etc.), the maximum number of people/visitors is determined per room, as long as the flow of visitors can also stay 1.5 metres apart in the other areas (e.g. sanitary facilities, walking routes, entrance and exit, etc.).
  • Determine the number of people who can be admitted to a room, so that everyone can strictly maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.
  • If the visitors are moving through the space (e.g. in open-air museums, monuments, zoos, etc.), the local authorities will make agreements with the managers regarding the maximum number of visitors.
  • Do not give visitors access to private rooms, kitchens or staff rooms.

4. Reservation and placement

  • If required, a visitor registry must be maintained.
  • If required, assigned seats (placements) must be designated for visitors and/or employees.
  • If required, a reservation must be made in advance.
  • Ensure that businesses and institutions know in advance how many employees are present during a shift or working day and record who was at work and when.
  • Work in fixed teams as much as possible. If there are fewer changes in personnel, there will be a smaller risk of spreading COVID-19 in the event of asymptomatic or presymptomatic employees.

5. Health check (triage)

  • If required, a health check must be performed. Employees/visitors must do the health check before the start of the shift/visit. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then that person must stay home.
  • Visitors must be made aware of the health check during the ticket sale or reservation and at the start of the visit.
  • Provide the health check along with an appointment confirmation or ticket purchase.
  • If a person has health problems, such as cold symptoms, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, elevated temperature or fever, and/or sudden loss of smell or taste, that person must stay at home.
  • If someone develops symptoms during the day, that person should go home immediately.
  • Anyone who has symptoms, even mild symptoms, can easily get tested via the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) They should be tested as soon as possible in order to effectively contain the spread of the virus. In the event of a positive test result, everyone is expected to cooperate with source and contact tracing. For that reason, employers should actively promote the testing policy among employees. Read more about the testing policy.

6. Ventilation

  • Ensure that the ventilation complies with the regulations (Building Decree) and guidelines. The Building Decree specifies the minimum ventilation standards per accommodation space or area.
  • It is important for an accommodation space to be ventilated 24 hours a day through natural ventilation (grilles above a window, gaps), or by mechanical ventilation systems. Good ventilation is necessary to refresh the air and contributes to a pleasant and healthy indoor climate.
  • Air out an accommodation space at least once a day for about 10-15 minutes. You should also air out the space if rapid air exchange is required, for example after holding a group meeting in a room, or after cooking. To air out an indoor space, open windows and doors on opposite sides of the area.
  • Modifications to mechanical ventilation systems are not necessary.
  • Follow the maintenance instructions of the mechanical ventilation system to ensure proper operation.
  • Read more about ventilation and COVID-19 (in Dutch). See also the RIVM page ventilation and COVID-19.

7. Risk groups

  • RIVM has additional recommendations for employees who are in a risk group. (in Dutch)
  • Visitors in a risk group must determine for themselves whether they are able and willing to visit such a facility.
  • The sector will define policies for risk groups, possibly in consultation with a company doctor and/or occupational hygienist, to ensure that working conditions are as safe as possible for the employees (and visitors) who are in a risk group.

8. Personal protective equipment
At various places in the Netherlands, the use of a face mask that covers the mouth and nose is required as mandated by the Dutch Government: in public transport and designated locations around public transport, at airports and in planes, in secondary education, and in passenger transport such as taxis, ferries and coaches. 

In addition, it is important at all times to ensure that:

  • Everyone performs the health check and stays home if the answer to one or more questions is ‘YES’;
  • And everyone complies with the additional measures. 

Wearing e.g. an apron or gown or disposable gloves is not included in the advice. This is possible because of the recommendations to stay home in the event of even mild symptoms, stay 1.5 metres apart, not shake hands, and wash hands frequently with soap and water. These recommendations remain important and prevent the spread of the virus.

Other points of attention for specific groups of employees:
• Appropriate advice for pregnant employees can be arranged in consultation with the company doctor, based on the guiding principles described by RIVM. The sector association or umbrella organisation can draw up its own policy for pregnant employees based on these guidelines (in Dutch).
• Teenagers (under 18 years), including holiday workers, are entitled to extra protection under the Working Conditions Act.

Generic guiding principles outdoors

The guiding principles described below can also be used by organisations, businesses and institutions for organising events subject to notification and licensing requirements, when such events are allowed again.

1. Maintain distance and keep people moving through
Ensure that everyone can stay 1.5 metres (2 arm lengths) from others.

Exceptions:

  • Children aged 12 and under do not have to stay 1.5 metres from each other and from adults;
  • Teenagers aged 17 and under do not have to stay 1.5 metres from each other. 
  • People who live together in the same household/family do not have to stay 1.5 metres apart.

The rule is still that everyone stays 1.5 metres apart. However, in some situations, that is not possible, so the 1.5 metre rule can be temporarily lifted. These situations are described on Government.nl.

Recommendations to ensure that people can stay 1.5 metres apart and to control the flow of visitors:

  • In designing the outdoor area, everyone must be able to stay strictly 1.5 metres apart.
  • Notify everyone that they must stay 1.5 metres apart, and post reminders in multiple locations.
  • Define fixed walking routes and mark them clearly. Arrange walking routes in such a way that everyone can pass each other in different directions while staying 1.5 metres apart. Otherwise, set it up for one-way traffic.
  • Have visitors wait while staying 1.5 metres apart. Do not let visitors in until the reserved time (if applicable).
  • Have visitors arrive/depart and enter/exit in small groups, so they can stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Ensure that there is enough distance between the seats.
  • Limit the number of people in sanitary facilities (washrooms, toilets and/or showers). Have visitors wait while staying 1.5 metres apart.
  • Ensure that people can move smoothly through the area.
  • Spread visitors out across the day by offering longer opening hours (obviously only within the applicable opening hours).
  • Train and supervise employees in following the measures and recommendations and monitoring that everyone stays 1.5 metres apart.
  • Minimise contact at the cash register or service desk, for example by having people reserve online or by phone as much as possible and providing online or contactless payment options.
  • Install a physical barrier (such as a plastic screen). Such barriers could be placed at the service desk / information point or cash register, when it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Consider installing ‘cough screens’ in outdoor seating areas for restaurants and cafés. 
  • When setting up the room safely, an occupational hygienist can, after a site visit and assessment, advise the entrepreneur on specifically applicable technical and organisational measures, such as installing screens.

There may be situations in which employees are unable to stay 1.5 metres apart. In that case, the employees must observe the extra points for attention that apply to contact professions.

2. Hygiene measures
RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has hygiene guidelines (in Dutch) for sectors and institutions such as primary schools, saunas and bathing establishments. For public areas and sectors that do not have specific hygiene guidelines in place, there is a document outlining General Hygiene Guidelines (in Dutch). The items listed below are additional measures and recommendations in relation to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also take into account measures for hygiene or cleaning based on your own sector-specific guidelines/quality requirements or laws and regulations on working conditions and other aspects.

  • Have everyone observe the hygiene measures meticulously. Wash hands regularly with soap and water, do not touch your face, do not shake hands, always cough or sneeze into your elbow, and use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use.
  • Communicate the general hygiene recommendations in multiple locations.
  • If there is a handwashing station, make sure that everyone can wash their hands with soap and water upon arrival and departure. If there is no handwashing station, advise everyone to wash their hands immediately after returning home. More information about approved disinfectants.
  • Ensure that the toilets are supplied with sufficient (hand) soap and paper towels.
  • Clean touch points, such as door handles, shopping trolleys and baskets, ATMs and multi-user touchscreens several times a day with cleaning wipes or soap and water, for example using all-purpose cleaner.
  • Clean chairs, railings, tables, etc. and the toilets several times a day.
  • Clean the room/facility thoroughly according to the regular cleaning protocol after each working day.
  • Make sure that employees have their own dining area / break room / toilet(s) / changing room, etc., where they can stay 1.5 metres apart and follow the hygiene measures.

3. Maximum number of visitors

  • The general rules for outdoor activities set by the Dutch Government must be followed.
  • At the locations for which the government (in Dutch) has specified a maximum number of visitors, that number must be maintained.
  • Limit the number of people in the outdoor area, in such a way that everyone can strictly maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.
  • Do not give visitors access to private rooms, kitchens or staff rooms.

4. Reservation and/or placement

  • If required, a visitor registry must be maintained.
  • If required, assigned seats (placements) must be designated for visitors and/or employees.
  • If required, a reservation must be made in advance.
  • Work in fixed teams as much as possible, and record who was at work and when. If there are fewer changes in personnel, there will be a smaller risk of spreading the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the event of asymptomatic or presymptomatic employees.

5. Health check (triage)

  • If required, a health check must be performed. Employees/visitors must do the health check before the start of the shift/visit. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then that person must stay home.
  • Visitors must be made aware of the health check during the ticket sale or reservation and at the start of the visit.
  • Provide the health check along with an appointment confirmation or ticket purchase.
  • If a person has health problems, such as cold symptoms, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, elevated temperature or fever, and/or sudden loss of smell or taste, that person must stay at home.
  • If someone develops symptoms during the day, that person should go home immediately.
  • Anyone who has symptoms, even mild symptoms, can easily get tested via the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD). They should be tested as soon as possible in order to effectively contain the spread of the virus. In the event of a positive test result, the person is expected to cooperate with source and contact tracing. For that reason, employers should actively promote the testing policy among employees. Read more about the testing policy.

6. Risk groups

  • RIVM has additional recommendations for employees who are in a risk group. (in Dutch)
  • For visitors who are in risk groups, it is particularly important to follow the basic rules, such as staying 1.5 metres apart.
  • The sector will define policies for risk groups, possibly in consultation with a company doctor and/or occupational hygienist, to ensure that working conditions are as safe as possible for the employees (and visitors) who are in a risk group.

7. Personal protective equipment

At various places in the Netherlands, the use of a face mask that covers the mouth and nose is required as mandated by the Dutch Government: in public transport and designated locations around public transport, at airports and in planes, in secondary education, and in passenger transport such as taxis, ferries and coaches.

In addition, it is important at all times to ensure that:

  • Everyone performs the health check and stays home if the answer to one or more questions is ‘YES’;
  • And everyone complies with the additional measures. 

Wearing e.g. an apron or gown or disposable gloves is not included in the advice. This is possible because of the recommendations to stay home in the event of even mild symptoms, stay 1.5 metres apart, not shake hands, and wash hands frequently with soap and water. These recommendations remain important and prevent the spread of the virus

Other points of attention for specific groups of employees:

  •  Appropriate advice for pregnant employees can be arranged in consultation with the company doctor, based on the guiding principles described by RIVM. The sector association or umbrella organisation can draw up its own policy for pregnant employees based on these guidelines (in Dutch).
  • Teenagers (under 18 years), including holiday workers, are entitled to extra protection under the Working Conditions Act.

Extra points for attention

Extra points for attention for contact professions

Contact professions are professions that involve frequent and direct contact with others within a distance of 1.5 metres. In addition to the generic principles for indoors and outdoors, the following extra points for attention apply to people working in a contact profession:

  • Registration and the health check are required. People working in a contact profession should ask their clients to register their information.
  • If it is not possible to stay 1.5 metres apart, keep the consultation/service as short as possible. Stay as far apart as possible.
  • Always plan the appointment or service in such a way that there is as little contact between clients or customers as possible.
  • After every client contact, clean the materials, instruments and furniture in the treatment rooms, such as the chair, exercise materials and examination bed.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary if the paramedical care cannot be postponed, emergency care is necessary, AND the customer has answered ‘yes’ to one of the questions from the health check. In that case, the paramedical care provider will use personal protective equipment in accordance with the guidelines of the relevant sector association.

Extra points for attention for sauna and wellness

In addition to the generic principles for indoors and outdoors, the following extra points for attention apply to sauna and wellness:

  • Saunas and wellness facilities are closed during the lockdown, as mandated by the Dutch Government.
  • Registration and the health check are required. 
  • Classical (Finnish) saunas: As a precaution, where possible, ventilation is increased and air recirculation is avoided as much as possible.
  • Pouring rituals may take place, provided that:

    o No products are used that may induce coughing in the people present, such as certain essential oils.

    o As a precaution, air flows from one person to another should be avoided (for example when "fanning").

Extra points for attention for athletes

In addition to the generic principles for indoors and outdoors, the following extra points for attention apply to athletes:

  • Registration and the health check are required.
  • It is important that every athlete and trainer/coach is aware that if they are infected, they can also infect other athletes, with all the consequences that entails.
  • It is also important that each athlete and trainer/coach is aware that, in case of any infected players in the team or group (who have been playing sports together for more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 1.5 metres), they will be considered a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 patient, and source and contact tracing will be initiated. Depending on whether a contact is considered protected against COVID-19, quarantine may be recommended. This applies to both indoor and outdoor sports. Further details on source and contact tracing are provided in the protocol on source and contact tracing.
  • Team sports and contact sports: during training sessions and (practice) matches, players do not have to stay 1.5 metres apart, but should maintain that distance outside of that context. The risk of infection also depends on the duration of the contact. For that reason, it is advisable to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres wherever possible during the training sessions.
  • For individual sports, it is advised to stay 1.5 metres apart, unless this is not possible during practice matches and competitions. Examples include certain sporting competitions, such as running or cycling races.
  • For contact sports where this is possible (e.g. judo, boxing), it is advised to train with the same training partner(s) as much as possible (by forming cohorts). In the event of an unexpected infection, this reduces the number of contacts and therefore limits the risk of further spread.
  • For all sports, the number of athletes and supervisors per sporting activity should not exceed what is necessary for the sporting activity (training, practice match, competition). In addition, the recommendation is to keep the team formation as stable as possible. This reduces the risk that an infected athlete or employee who may be asymptomatic or presymptomatic will spread the virus, and makes it easier to perform contact tracing if necessary. In addition, to facilitate contact tracing, it is also required to temporarily retain personal data on the athletes and coaches per sporting activity, for example by maintaining attendance lists.
  • Due to the fact that an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) could have potentially serious negative effects on a sports career, professional athletes are also encouraged to consider limiting the number of contacts outside their sports activities.
  • In a number of countries, professional athletes are receiving extra tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2; this is also happening in the Netherlands for research purposes. Testing athletes is not recommended as a matter of standard policy in the Netherlands. One exception is if international competitions are allowed to take place. To prevent import and export of the coronavirus, and thus prevent further transmission, it is advised to test the Dutch athletes and accompanying staff 2 days before departure as well as before their return. The pre-departure test can be combined with serological testing, which can help define follow-up policy in case of any infection in the team.
  • Obviously, in the event of international sporting events, it will be required to comply with the prevailing policies in the host country

Extra points for attention for indoor sports

In addition to the generic principles for indoors and outdoors, the following extra points for attention apply to indoor sports:

  • See Government.nl for the measures that apply to sports during the lockdown.
  • Registration and the health check are required.
  • Athletes should preferably play in the same group or team as much as possible, and personal data on the participants should temporarily be retained, by keeping a record of who was playing and when (registration).
  • It is important to clean the contact points on the sports equipment and group sports materials after individual use AND after the training session, using household cleaning products (all-purpose cleaner and water or cleaning wipes).
  • Wherever possible, avoid sharing equipment and other gear in indoor sports. This can be done by choosing certain exercises or training set-ups that do not require sharing.
     

Extra points for attention for choirs and vocal ensembles

In addition to the generic principles for indoors and outdoors, the following extra points for attention apply to choirs and vocal ensembles:

  • The general rules for indoor activities set by the Dutch Government must be followed.
  • The general rules for singing and playing wind instruments set by the Dutch Government must be followed.
  • Registration and the health check are required.
  • It is important that every singer is aware that if they are infected, they can also infect other singers, with all the consequences that entails.
  • Singing in an indoor space: if there is an infected person in the choir or ensemble – even if everyone was distancing – then source and contact tracing will be initiated. It is required to keep temporary records on choir members by means of attendance lists; this will facilitate any source and contact tracing among choir members by the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD). Further details on source and contact tracing are provided in the protocol on source and contact tracing.
  • There should be at least 1.5 metres between each choir member, preferably not lined up one behind the other, but in a zigzag formation.
  • As a precaution, additional measures for indoor ventilation are recommended for choirs and vocal ensembles, in addition to the usual preventive recommendations. The ventilation system in the room where communal singing takes place should be on 24 hours a day. Make sure that the room is aired for about 10 minutes during breaks and after the gathering.  (This recommendation is based on standards from the LCHV Hygiene Guidelines - in Dutch). If in doubt about the ventilation and air flows in the room, it is advisable to seek professional advice. Make sure that people are not present in the room while it is being aired – or, if that is not possible, prevent people from sitting behind each other in the airflow while the room is being aired.

Extra points for attention regarding transport of groups to residential care locations and adult day services

Structural transport of people in groups to residential care locations, adult day services or other transport needs for which an indication has been given.

  • The health check is required prior to the start of transport. The transport company makes agreements with the client about implementation of the health check.
  • The driver wears a face mask that covers the mouth and nose. During transport, a minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained between the people to be transported and the driver. If this distance from the driver is not possible, a physical barrier is placed between the driver and the passengers, in such a way that it is compliant with the traffic safety regulations of the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) (only in Dutch). If this cannot be achieved, the driver wears a type IIR surgical mask that covers the mouth and nose. In doing so, the driver follows the instructions for care workers.
  • When people who are in risk groups are transported, the vehicle has a maximum occupancy of one person per row of seats or per bench, ensuring that a distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained among passengers and between the passenger(s) and the driver. In addition, the 1.5-metres rule means that no one should be positioned directly behind another person.
  • From mid-June 2021 onwards, it will be possible to have about 2/3 occupancy per vehicle, assuming 2 people per row with an empty seat between them. No passengers should be seated next to the driver. Some of the people will not be able to wear a face mask that covers the mouth and nose. Considering the current vaccination coverage and infection rate, it is safe enough for these people to travel in the vehicle without any other changes to occupancy.
  • Drivers can offer passengers necessary support when entering or exiting the vehicle and when moving wheelchairs in or out of the vehicle. During these activities, the driver wears a type IIR surgical mask that covers the mouth and nose. Immediately afterwards, the driver washes or disinfects hands (hand hygiene).
  • Wherever possible, people are transported in groups consisting of a fixed complement of individuals.
  • Passengers should wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth whenever possible. Passengers who are in a risk group should wear a medical face mask that covers the mouth and nose, which is type II or better.
  • During transport, the vehicle ventilation system is on.
  • Surfaces that are frequently touched during use, such as door handles and grab handles, are cleaned after the ride with soap and water (for example using all-purpose cleaner) or cleaning wipes.