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Questions about corona and policing

Current language: English

The Netherlands is in its strictest lockdown so far. Information about the latest measures can be found on the website Rijksoverheid.nl. This page contains answers to the questions the police is asked most frequently. About keeping your distance, the amount of people one can go outside with, and about fines. For other questions, we will refer down below to specific pages of the government. This page was updated on 12-01-2021.

Table of contents

Current situation in the Netherlands

Strict lockdown

Coronavirus is once again spreading rapidly. In order to ensure normal healthcare services can continue, we must take action and limit our contact with other people as much as possible. The more people a person comes into contact with, the greater their chance of being infected.  This is why the Netherlands will go into its strictest lockdown yet from 15 December until at least Tuesday 19 January. 

The basic rules stilll are: 

  • Stay home as much as you can
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people.
  • Wash your hands when entering somewhere, and before lunch/dinner.
  • You have (mild) symptoms? Stay home and have yourself tested!
  • Infected? Call in help from others so you can stay home.
  • Work from home, unless that is absolutely not possible.

Read more about the current rules in the Netherlands: https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/12/14/lockdown-in-order-to-minimise-contact-between-people

Questions about rules and fines

To fight Covid19 we need to keep certain rules. Some of these rules are so important that police can give a fine: 

If you break these rules, you can get a fine. 

  • For 13 - 15 year olds: 48 euro.
  • Over 16 yo: 95 euro.
  • No face/nose mask where obliged by law: 95 euro. 

Max 2 guests at home

Since a lot of infections start at family and friends gatherings, the government advises strongly to have 1 group of max of 2 persons per day 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 and make hygienical options available.

This is a strong 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?

If you all belong to the same household: no problem, enjoy your ride.

If you do not belong to the same household: no more than 2 people - besides you - in the car, ALL wearing face masks.
You will not get a fine for this, but a mask at least prevents the virus from spreading in this small, covered space.

Can I be with friends, outdoors?

This is allowed to a max of 2 people. You will have to stay 1.5 metres away from them though. 
If you do not keep a distance and/or you are with a total of more than 2 people, you can be issued a fine. The fine can be as high as 95 euro for a person 16 years and older. 
For the ages 13, 14 and 15 the fine is 48 euro.

Questions about visiting the Netherlands

The Netherlands are in a strict lockdown. Please do not come and visit from abroad for non urgent reasons. 

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 made face masks obligatory in areas like that.

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

Does police wear face masks?
According to the law, also police wears (non medical) face masks in public indoor spaces. When we act on an incident and there are signs that the person involved might have Covid19, we will wear medical face masks and gloves. Also in cars, when we travel with a colleague, we will wear a face mask. We will do whatever we can to avoid infection, and to ensure that we do not contribute to spreading the virus.

What type of personal protective equipment does the police 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.

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.

Other questions and answers