Netherlands lifts all covid restrictions – despite incidence of 2,500

The Netherlands is lifting the last pandemic restrictions, Health Minister Ernst Kuipers announced in The Hague on Tuesday. From March 23, people will no longer have to wear masks on buses and trains. The obligation to test before mass events will be abolished.

In a country with a population of 17.5 million people, quarantine will also be abolished: all people who test positive for coronavirus should stay at home. However, this will no longer be a recommendation.

Rising infection numbers and high incidence of COVID-19

After most restrictions were lifted a few weeks ago, the number of new infections in the Netherlands has risen sharply again. There are also more patients with COVID-19 in hospitals. Nevertheless, the government believes that lifting the restrictions is justified. Currently, there are about 2,500 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a seven-day period. For comparison: the seven-day incidence in Germany is currently 1585.

An expert committee advising the government has advocated maintaining the requirement to wear masks on public transport. However, the government has not followed this recommendation. Masks will now only have to be worn on airplanes, as this has been agreed internationally. In addition, people from outside the Schengen area entering the Netherlands must be vaccinated, tested for coronavirus or have recovery status.


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