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Questions about corona and policing

Current language: English

This page contains answers to the questions the police is asked most frequently. About keeping your distance, about what our role as police is, and about fines. For other questions, we will refer down below to specific pages of the government. This page was updated on 07-10-2020.

Table of contents

Current situation in the Netherlands

It is crucial to maintain a distance of 1,5 meter from other people and to pay attention to the main rules. Especially at home and during private matters / events.
Only by keeping our distance we get to keep the space we need/want. 

These are the mayor rules at the moment: 

  • You have (mild) symptoms? Stay home and have yourself tested!
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
  • Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Work from home, unless that is absolutely impossible.

Read more about the current rules in the Netherlands: 
https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/news/2020/09/28/additional-measures-to-combat-the-spread-of-coronavirus

Local differences in measures against corona virus

There can be differences in the local rules from now on.
In areas where the virus is under controle, no extra rules are needed.
In areas where the virus is expanding, we want to protect you better.
So wherever you go, always make sure you know the local rules! They can be found on the city websites.  
https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/08/18/let-s-keep-coronavirus-out

Questions about visiting the Netherlands

Can I come for a holiday to the Netherlands? 
Whether you can travel to the Netherlands depends on your situation. Check whether your situation allows you to travel to the Netherlands and, if so, what conditions apply. Check here: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands/travel-and-holidays/visiting-the-netherlands

What are the main rules in the Netherlands?
These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands, including tourists:

  • You have (mild) symptoms? Stay home and have yourself tested!
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
  • Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.

Will foreign tourists receive fines if they do not observe the rules?
Yes. No distinction is made between Dutch residents and foreign tourists when it comes to enforcing the COVID-19 rules.  

What if I come back to the Netherland from a vacation abroad?
Travellers arriving in the Netherlands from orange or red coloured countries and regions should self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. Even if you do not have any symptoms or if you have tested negative for COVID-19. Which travellers should self-quarantine? Read here: https://www.government.nl/topics/c/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands/travel-and-holidays/self-quarantine 

Questions about distancing and fines

No distinction is made between Dutch residents and foreign tourists when it comes to enforcing the COVID-19 rules.  

Fines
A fine is possible for being outside with 3 or more persons without keeping a distance from each other.
For 13-17 year-olds, who are in the company of adults / older friends, the fine is 95 euro.
The fine is 390 euro for persons aged 18 and over.
The fine for not wearing a face mask in a designated area is 95 euro. We will warn you first and ask for your cooperation.  

Exceptions 

  • Children younger than 13 years do not need to keep a distance to other people
  • Young people from 13-17 years do not need to keep a distance when they are together with the same age range. They do need to keep a distance to adult persons (and friends 18 years and older).   
  • Contact between people who require care or assistance and those providing this, is allowed.
  • People in contact-based roles (such as hairdressers, masseurs and driving instructors).
  • Athletes (both indoor and outdoor sports), actors and dancers.

Max 3 guests at home

Since most infections seem to start at (family) gatherings, the government advised to have a max of 3 persons in your house, your garden or on your balcony. Children 12 years and younger are not counted. The household members don't count either. Make sure your guests can keep 1,5 m distance from each other.
This is an advise. Your own responsability. We, as police, will not check how many people are in your house and then give a fine for that. If your neighbours complain, we will ring the doorbell and talk to you. We will need a warrant to enter your house, on the normal old grounds.
Please do your share in preventing the virus from spreading.

With whom can I share a car?

Can I share a car with someone who does not belong to my household? 
People travelling in a car or other private vehicle are strongly advised to wear non-medical face masks if there are 2 or more people (18y and older) in the vehicle who belong to different households. You will not get a fine for this, but a mask at least prevents the virus from spreading.

Can I be with friends, outdoors?

This is allowed, but you will have to stay 1.5 metres away from others at all times. 
If you do not keep a distance and you are with 3 or more persons, you can still be issued a fine. The fine can be as high as 390 euro for a person 18 years and older. 

Young people up to 18 years old do not need to keep the distance anymore when they are outside together. But if they are in a group with 18 and older, they can still get a fine of 95 euro if they do not keep the 1,5 meter distance. People from the same household do not have to maintain this distance.

Questions about work and distancing

My employer wants 3 of us to travel to work together in a work van. Is this allowed?
Work vans are not considered private cars. Therefore they have different rules to keep travelling/working safe. 

  1. The people that travel in one work van must be registered by name every day (information might be needed for research in case of illness)
  2. Before you enter the van, you must get a health check. Read: questions if you have corona symptoms.
  3. Everyone in the van must wear a face mask.

My employer forces us to work at less than the required distance. What can I do?
Your employer is responsible for your health. This means she/he has to ensure that you can stay at least 1.5 metres apart. Raise the issue with your employer or supervisor. Involve the works council or the union if the employer doesn’t listen to you. You can also report it to the Inspectorate SZW using a special report form.  

Questions about police stations

Do I need to wear a face mask when visiting a police station?
Yes. The police station is a public building. The Dutch government advises stronly to wear face masks there. As police, we will wear a face mask at the desk also, when talking to you.

Do all police stations remain open?
In principle, the police stations will remain open. You are still welcome, but should remember that we comply with the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. So please don’t shake hands, keep the required distance, and see whether we can help you this way. You can also report a crime online or by phone (see the previous question). It is possible that specific stations will have to close temporarily. We will actively communicate this, mostly via social media.

How should I report a crime?
Because of the corona crisis, we are forced to limit the number of personal contacts. We only meet people at a police station in urgent cases. We try to process as many reports as possible by telephone or via the internet. Check https://www.politie.nl/en/themes/report-a-crime.html to see how you can report a crime online. If you cannot report online, call us at 0900-8844. Then we’ll assess whether reporting by phone is an option, or whether you will need to come to a police station. Certain reports are too complex or too sensitive to do deal with by phone.

Questions about how we, as police, can protect ourselves and others

What type of personal protective equipment do you carry?
Each police car has a package containing surgical masks and medical gloves, among other things. The police use these, for instance, when officers have to visit a location where an infected person may be present, or for reanimation. Of course there isn’t always time to put on gloves during an arrest. This means we are running an increased risk, but that comes with the job. We always wear gloves when conducting a body search. In addition, we have hand sanitizer with which we can clean our hands after a reported incident. We also have coveralls and glasses that we can wear when performing reanimation. And all cars have anti-spitting masks.

When does police wear face masks?
Following the strong advise from the Dutch government, we as police will wear (non-medical) face masks in official public buildings. Besides that, we will wear medical masks when we are send to someone who might have corona symptoms or to a deployment in which contamination with the virus is possible. Although we are exempt from teh rules, more and more colleagues decide to wear face masks in other situations, like when sitting next to each other in patrol cars. We will do whatever we can to avoid infection, and to ensure that we do not contribute to spreading the virus.

How do you conduct your police duties at 1.5 metres distance?
In the emergency decree, we as police, together with other vital professions, are exempt from the regulations. It is impossible for us to do our jobs staying 1.5 metres away from each other. But we are doing our best to maintain this distance anyway. This means we will be wearing face masks if we can not chose for solo ways of transportation. We’re doing our utmost to prevent being infected with the virus and to limit its spread.

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