“The country is opening up again”, said Minister Ernst Kuipers on Tuesday evening at what was, for the time being, the final press conference on the coronavirus. Hospital admissions are no longer rising as fast as the number of corona infections. And that leads to a lot of relaxations.


The measures are loosened in phases. From now on, people are allowed to receive as many people as they want in their homes. And the advice to work at home as much as possible has been changed into: work at the office for a maximum of half of the working time.


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Relaxation corona measures: lecture halls can be full again

The maximum of 75 students in a room will disappear as of Friday, but face masks will…

As of Friday

Coming Friday (18 February) more changes will take effect. Everything can remain open again until 1 a.m. and wearing a face mask and keeping your distance are no longer mandatory in places where a corona pass is required. On the campus – where no QR code is required – a face mask must still be worn.

The advised isolation time after a positive test is shortened to five days, provided someone has no symptoms anymore for 24 hours. In addition, there is no longer a visitors limit in restaurants and bars. Lectures with more than 75 students are also allowed again.

As of 25 February

On 25 February, the final step of the three phases will be taken. Opening hours will become normal again and the corona check will no longer be required at indoor events with up to 500 people. At locations where more than 500 people gather without being seated, everyone (vaccinated or not) will have to show a negative test result.

Keeping one and a half metres distance will also no longer be compulsory. A face mask only needs to be worn in public transport and at the airport, ‘to enable vulnerable people to travel safely’. For higher education, a different consideration has apparently been made.


Student organisations are happy with the relaxations. “For many students, education has been online lately. We are happy that this is now coming to an end”, says Ama Boahene, chair of the Dutch Student Union (LSVb). Lisanne de Roos, chair of the Dutch National Student Association (ISO), also prefers to remove ‘every measure that limits physical education’.

De Roos does have one reservation: the damage caused by the corona crisis will not have disappeared overnight and there will also be students who find it scary to be among fellow students in a crowded lecture hall. “There must be room at the educational institution for all these signals and concerns: ‘All’s well that ends well’ is really not the case for many students.”