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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 fines and who you can be in one car with, for instance. For other questions, we will refer down below to specific pages of the government. This page was updated on 01-07-2020.

Table of contents

Current situation in the Netherlands

What are still important points?

  • Stay 1.5 metres away from other people
  • Avoid crowds and give each other space
  • Wash your hands
  • Work from home if possible
  • Stay at home if you have any symptoms

Click this link to read more about the current rules: 
https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/06/24/from-1-july-staying-1.5-metres-apart-remains-the-norm

Questions about visiting the Netherlands

Can I come for a holiday to the Netherlands? 
The Dutch approach has worked well in bringing coronavirus under control. The risk has certainly not disappeared, but if we continue to follow the main rules, we can gradually allow ourselves more freedom. Tourists from countries where the risk to health is either comparable to or lower than that of the Netherlands can visit the Netherlands this summer. This means that tourists from EU, Schengen countries and the United Kingdom, can visit the Netherlands this summer. Foreign tourists arriving from all parts of Sweden and all parts of the United Kingdom are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days immediately after arriving in the Netherlands. All tourists must follow the rules in place in the Netherlands to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Make sure you read this page before arrival: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tourism-in-the-netherlands

I want to cross the Belgian border. It that allowed?
The border with Belgium is open again for non-essential travel. Due to that tourism and family visits are possible under certain conditions. Are you travelling to Belgium, please make sure you have read the rules since every country has their own.  

Is travel to and from Germany prohibited?
Also Germany allows non- essential travels. It is still possible though that you will be checked for symptoms at the border. 

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 advised to wear non-medical face masks if there are 2 or more people in the vehicle who belong to different households.
You will not get a fine for this anymore, but a mask at least prevents the virus from spreading.

Can I be with friends, outdoors?

This is allowed. There are no maximum numbers, but you will have to stay 1.5 metres away from others at all times.
If keeping a distance is impossible, you can still be issued a fine (from 3 persons). 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 distancing and fines

We can only keep the virus in control when we keep the 1,5 meter distance at all times. For your health and ours, we still enforce this regulation. In most cases, we will first address and warn you. 

Exceptions after 1 July

  • Children younger than 13 years do not need to keep a distance to otgher 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.

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.

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 access to police stations

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 criminality

Do the corona measures lead to (more) incidents, such as speeding on freeways and local roads, an increase in domestic violence or online crime?
The police continuously keep track of what’s happening in the streets. Since the end of April, crime figures have risen slowly. By the beginning of June they were at almost the same level as before the crisis. Only online crime is still higher, just like speed violations. This forces us to confiscate more driving licenses than we normally would. The number of fines we issue for gathering in groups without keeping sufficient distance is declining strongly.
Safety is and will always be important. Police work therefore continued as normal as possible in these times. Speeding, using the phone when driving, driving under influence or riding your bike at night without turning the lights on is still not allowed. We

Did your work change? 
At first, yes. New rules, new work. But we did our best to continue police work as normal as possible. We're still out there, for everyone. 

Questions about how we, as police, can protect ourselves

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.

What do you do when you have to arrest or search a person?
In principle, we wear medical gloves during arrests and body searches. Sometimes there won’t be time to put them on. Unfortunately, this is a risk that comes with the job. 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 more inclined to travel by motorcycle or by bike, and we will use a police van rather than a car. This means we can keep more distance. We’re doing our utmost to prevent being infected with the virus and to limit its spread.

Other questions and answers