City of Utrecht Coronavirus
The Municipality of Utrecht is following the guidelines and information of the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment), the Municipal Health Service for the Utrecht region (GGD Regio Utrecht) and the Dutch Ministry of Health.
Changes to our services
We're doing our best to keep vital services and support available. The city hall and the Vleuten-De Meern district service centre are open. There will be cases where we will have to limit some of our services for people's safety. We are following the guidelines set by the government.
The government has taken a series of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In order to uphold these measures, the Utrecht Safety Region (Veiligheidsregio Utrecht) has set up a new emergency ordinance.
Update 28-05: new emergency ordinance from 1 June
A new emergency ordinance will go into effect on 1 June. The new ordinance contains the relaxed measures that offer everyone a little more freedom. The basic principles remain unchanged: keep 1.5 metres apart, avoid crowds and apply the hygiene rules.
The following changes go into effect on 1 June:
- The ban on gatherings in public spaces (parks, squares, on the street) no longer applies. Residents can meet up in parks again to picnic or talk, for example. However, everyone should keep a distance of 1.5 metres from others. The distance rule does not apply to people from the same household.
- Restaurants and cafés are allowed to open again at 12:00 on 1 June. Indoor seating is limited to a maximum of 30 guests (excluding staff) and advance booking is required. Everyone must keep 1.5 metres apart (except people from the same household).
- There is no maximum number of guests for terraces. Everyone must be seated at a table at a distance of 1.5 metres from others (except people from the same household).
- Student associations may meet up again from 1 June. The same applies here: A maximum of 30 people may attend, maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres.
- Film, theatre and concert halls may reopen. A maximum of 30 people are allowed in a room/hall. Visitors have to book in advance, and everyone must keep a distance of 1.5 metres. Museums and monuments are allowed to open if visitors pre-book a specific time slot. Other public buildings such as the petting zoos, music schools and community centres are also reopening with a maximum of 30 visitors per entire building/site.
- Secondary schools and special secondary education will reopen on 2 June. Primary schools will open completely on 8 June. Schools must take measures to keep the 1.5-metre distance. The out-of-school care will also open again on 8 June.
- Multifunctional buildings that, for example, house both childcare and a community centre may open again under certain conditions, as can public toilets at nature reserves, parks, beaches and marinas.
- As of 1 June, travellers aged 13 and older are required to wear a face mask on public transport. This does not apply to stations, stops and platforms, where everyone must keep 1.5 metres apart.
The ban on events remains in force
The current national ban on events has been extended to 1 September 2020. Events such as festivals, fairs and street parties cannot take place. Note: a gathering of a number of people in a public space turns into an event if an organiser makes provisions such as a music system or a bar. Events are not only gatherings that require a permit, but also include street markets or street parties, for example. Saunas and other wellness facilities will also remain closed.
Emergency ordinance for the Utrecht Safety Region
The measures have been laid down in a new emergency ordinance for the Utrecht Safety Region (Veiligheidsregio Utrecht). These measures rely on everyone taking responsibility and abiding by the rules for the sake of all our health. Under the new emergency ordinance, municipal enforcers and the police can check for compliance with the measures and have the authority to issue fines in extreme cases.
Update 20-5: extension of terrace space for hospitality
Hospitality businesses in Utrecht can temporarily extend their terraces. They can apply for this at the hospitality office (email@example.com) from Friday 22 May. Companies must meet several conditions to be eligible, such as keeping the city accessible and safe for everyone.
Update 20-5: extension of Tozo scheme
On 20 May, the Cabinet announced an extension of the temporary bridging scheme for independent entrepreneurs (Tozo). You cannot yet apply for this extension. There are slightly different rules, such as a partner income evaluation. This means that we need to modify our form and set up the back-end processes. Once this is ready, we will announce it on our website. We expect to be able to process Tozo applications by 10 June.
Update 20-5: principles for 1.5-metre measures in public
Coronavirus measures are being relaxed step by step. The streets and public spaces are becoming more crowded. At the same time, we still need to stay 1.5 metres away from each other. This creates new dilemmas. To that end, the city council has established 6 principles to help take quick decisions regarding temporary measures. Based on these principles, we can take clear action in the coming days and weeks.
There are 6 important principles:
- health, safety and accessibility come first
- we prioritise pedestrians and cyclists
- we prioritise movement over stationary uses of space
- we support where possible and regulate where necessary
- we redistribute the limited space first, and only redesign spaces if necessary
- measures will be based on monitoring
Update 19 May | temporarily increased space for pedestrians in the city centre
One-way traffic for pedestrians in narrow streets, pedestrian "roundabouts" and waiting zones in front of stores; these are just a few of the measures being taken by the city of Utrecht to give visitors and residents enough space. This is necessary to make entering the city safe and responsible. There will also be route markers, information signs and public guides to advise visitors on the new rules. People are still advised to avoid crowds.
Update 11 May 2020 | New emergency ordinance of 11 May 2020
On 6 May, the government decided to further relax the coronavirus measures. As of 11 May, the following is in effect:
- Primary schools and special education for children up to 12 years old will reopen under certain conditions, as will childcare venues.
- People aged 19 and older can practice sports and exercise outside, as long as they keep 1.5 meters away from others. Matches and competitions are not allowed, nor are spectators. Elite athletes are allowed to resume training at their training locations.
- Visits to shops and libraries are permitted, as long as people can keep 1.5 metres away from others.
- Zoos, nature parks and amusement parks are allowed to open, provided that measures have been taken to ensure a 1.5-metre distance between visitors. Opening should not result in excessive traffic on the road, in the car park or on public transport.
- Scouting, cultural clubs, art clubs and other youth clubs or professionals are allowed to organise supervised outdoor activities for people up to 18 years old.
- Swimming pools are allowed to open, subject to the 1.5-metre rule and other measures. Communal washing and shower facilities will remain closed.
- Hairdressers, driving instructors, physiotherapists and beauty specialists can resume work by appointment only, on the condition that they maintain a 1.5-metre distance between customers.
All of the above is only allowed if people can keep at least 1.5 metres away from others. The hygiene rules also remain in effect.
The current national ban on events has been extended until 1 September 2020. Events such as festivals, fairs and street parties are still forbidden. Saunas and other wellness facilities will also remain closed.
The measures are laid down in a new emergency ordinance for the Utrecht Safety Region, which you can read in the 'noodverordening' (pdf). For the sake of all our health, these measures rely on everyone taking responsibility and abiding by the rules. Under the new emergency ordinance, municipal enforcers and the police can check for compliance with the measures, with the authority to issue fines where necessary.
As of 28 April, outdoor sports were already allowed for youth up to 18 years old, as long as it is organised and supervised. However, children aged 13 to 18 years old must still keep 1.5 metres away from others. For sports that involve close contact, the training methods must be adapted. Sports clubs will make agreements to that end with municipalities and other parties for outdoor sports and exercise.
View more extensive information and explanation of the new measures for the Netherlands on the website of the national government.
Update 21-4: Limited relaxation of measures to control the corona virus
The Dutch government has decided to extend most measures until May 19. In the week before May 19, the government will assess what measures are necessary after May 19. The most important changes are these.
- Primary schools, including primary schools for children with special needs, and childcare will reopen on May 11.
- Secondary schools can prepare for students to come back to school on Tuesday June 2.
- From April 29, children in the ages up to and including 12 are allowed to train together and do not have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters.
- From April 29, youth in the ages from 13 up to and including 18 are allowed to train in an organized way and keep a distance of 1.5 meters.
What does not change?
- Events pose a risk of a widespread and rapid spread of the virus. The current ban on events that require a permit or notification, is extended to September 1.
- Hair dressers and other professions with physical contact: no visits until May 19.
- Care homes: no visits until May 19.
Update 3-4: Extra measures in public spaces
Utrecht city parks and green areas remain open for now. The municipality is taking extra precautions in public spaces to control the coronavirus. Extra electronic message boards will be placed in parks and rural estates.
Public conveniences are closed. The public water taps, Join the Pipes, are turned off. Water features in play grounds are closed. The tow path along the river Kromme Rijn is closed to pedestrians.
The path is too narrow for people to keep 1,5 metres distance from each other.
For the latest news about the coronavirus and the number of infections in Utrecht and the Netherlands, visit the RIVM website.
View the current list of questions and answers on the RIVM website. The list is updated daily. Here you can read, for example, about what you can do to minimise the chances of spreading.
The website of the national government contains frequently asked questions for schools, companies and travellers. If you still have questions after reading it, please call the national information number: 0800 - 13 51 (8.00 - 20.00).
You are under an obligation to report the coronavirus. The GP will consult with the GGD as to whether the patient should be examined for corona. The GGD is conducting research into whom infected patients have recently had contact with. If you want more information, visit the website of the GGD Region Utrecht (Dutch).
General Practitioner (GP)
If you have health problems and have been in an infected area, please contact your GP by telephone.
What can you do yourself?
For residents and visitors in the Utrecht region, the general health advice remains:
- wash your hands with soap and water
- sneeze and cough into your elbow
- turn away from others coughing or sneezing and use paper tissues
- do not shake hands