The coronavirus and your company: Dutch government measures to help businesses

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Government.nl | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

The coronavirus COVID-19, and the measures taken to restrict the spreading of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, mean significant loss of turnover for many businesses. This article lists the measures the Dutch government is taking to help entrepreneurs affected by the crisis. Check this page regularly for updates.

10 July: Several corona measures tightened again

Step 4 of the gradual re-opening of society has taken effect on 26 June. However, due to the rapidly increasing infection rate, the government has temporarily tightened a number of measures as of 10 July 06:00 CEST.

To view all 5 steps and the re-opening timeline, see the Openingsplan (in Dutch). See also the article on the opening plan on Government.nl, and the news article on the latest measures.

As of 10 July 06:00 CEST, the following measures have been tightened (at least up to and including 13 August):

  • The advice to work from home is again in place. Read more (in Dutch).
  • Every place of work must have a good ventilation system (in Dutch).
  • Businesses in the hospitality sector can no longer make use of the corona entry pass arrangement to forego the 1.5 metres distance. Guests should be appointed a fixed seat according to the existing regulations.
  • All venues are required to close their doors at 00:00 CEST.
  • Nightclubs and discotheques need to close their doors from 10 July 06:00 CEST (at least up to and including 13 August).
  • Entertainment, such as sports games on large screens or live music, is no longer permitted in hospitality venues.
  • Events without fixed seating are no longer permitted. Licenced, seated events can take place for a maximum of 24 hours.
  • The term of validity of a negative corona test for the corona entry pass has been reduced from 40 hours to 24 hours.
  • Sports and cultural events can use a maximum of 2/3 of their capacity if they make admittance conditional upon a valid corona entry pass.
  • Existing measures remain for other outdoor and indoor locations where people move freely, such as shops, museums, and fairs.

An overview of the measures that remain in place:

  • Face masks are no longer mandatory in places where you can keep 1.5 metres distances, such as supermarkets, shops, restaurants, and other public spaces. To ensure proper distance, indoor venues may allow 1 visitor per 5 m2. In places where 1.5 metres distance is not possible, such as in public transport and at airports, face masks remain mandatory.
  • For public locations where fixed seating is possible, you do not need a face mask. Health checks, registrations, and 1.5 metres distance remain in force. The 1.5 metre distance can be eased when using cough screens.
  • A rule of thumb for locations where fixed seating is not possible, such as museums and events, is that a maximum of 1 person per 5 m2 is permitted.
  • Restrictions on home visits and group gatherings are lifted. The basic corona precautions, such as washing your hands, keeping 1.5 metres distance, and testing regularly, remain in place.
  • The ban on the sale of alcohol after 22:00 is lifted.
  • The advice not to sing, shout, or play wind instruments in groups longer applies.
  • Competitions for sports in all ages groups are again permitted. Basic corona measures continue to apply.
  • The corona entry pass is available through the CoronaCheck app. You can get the entry pass if you are vaccinated, had the corona virus less than 6 months ago, or have a recent negative test (maximum of 24 hours prior). The entry pass in the app will not show which of these options you have chosen.
  • From 1 July, the CoronaCheck app can also be used for travel abroad, as the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC). You can now start creating your DCC.
  • Anyone travelling abroad from the Netherlands in July or August can make use of free corona testing (in Dutch).

Please consult the relevant articles for specific information:

Travel restrictions

As of 24 June, a number of countries will be added to those that are exempt from the EU entry ban and may travel to the Netherlands. These include Albania, Lebanon, North-Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, the United States, and Hong Kong. The rule of thumb is: If you live in a country where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low (a safe country), you may also travel to the Netherlands.

Negative COVID-19 test results (in Dutch) are mandatory for travellers from countries that are marked as extremely high risk or high risk, or where an alarming variant of the coronavirus has been established. They must also observe a 10-day quarantine period when they enter the Netherlands.
For full and up to date details on the conditions for travelling into the Netherlands, check the Government.nl Visiting the Netherlands page.

If you want to travel from the Netherlands to a foreign country, please use the travel advice website to check the situation in that country and the countries you will be passing through.

Financial measures

There are several economic support measures in place for businesses affected by the corona crisis. Measures such as NOW, Tozo and TVL will continue to be expanded and amended as seen fit by the government. Businesses and self-employed professionals who have been hit hard by the recent measures will continue to receive support.

  • NOW3: Employers with more than 20% turnover loss can apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW,Tijdelijke Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkbehoud) to receive compensation of their employees' wages from October 2020 - July 2021. NOW1 and NOW2 are now closed. NOW 3 is divided into three periods: 1 October 2020 until 1 January 2021; 1 January until 1 April 2021; from 1 April until 1 July 2021. The NOW scheme will be extended until 30 September 2021.
  • Tozo3 and 4: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo, the temporary benefit to bridge the loss of income over the months October 2020 - September 2021 in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality how to apply.
  • TVL: The Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs and self-employed professionals aims to compensate companies for fixed costs other than wage costs. You can apply for TVL once every 3 months, until 30 September 2021.
  • Extra TVL support for hospitality businesses: Hospitality businesses that have had to close due to the second corona wave will be able to apply for an extra compensation on top of the TVL in the 4th quarter of 2020 to reimburse the costs of stock and adjustments. The maximum amount is €20,160. This amount comes to an average of €2,500 per entrepreneur. This scheme, the Horeca Stock and Adjustments (HVA), is still being worked out.
  • Extra TVL support for events businesses and their suppliers: Events businesses and their suppliers that applied for TVL during the 3rd quarter of 2020 will receive an extra fee in the 4th quarter of 2020 and 1st quarter of 2021, based on the summer TVL fee. €11 million has been reserved for this. More information follows.
  • Subsidy for cancelled events: From 1 July 2021, events organisers will be able to organise events again. If the event has to be cancelled due to corona restrictions, they can reclaim the costs incurred. See Subsidy scheme for events cancelled due to corona measures.
  • TVL Stock Support Closed Retail (opslag Voorraad Gesloten Detailhandel): retail businesses that have had to close their doors, and that have applied for TVL, will receive a supplement for the stock they have been unable to sell. Read more about this supplement in the TVL article. Check the list of retail SBI codes that qualify (in Dutch).
  • Extra support for the cultural sector: The government allots €454 million to providing extra support for cultural organisations and events.
  • R&D subsidy scheme for the mobility sector (RDM): For companies active in the automotive, aviation, or maritime industry, a subsidy is available for research and development. If your R&D investments have been strained because of the corona crisis, you may be eligible for the R&D subsidy scheme for the mobility sector.
  • Travel: A credit facility or voucher bank for travel guarantee funds is being set up by ANVR sector organization, the SGR guarantee fund and the government. Through this voucher bank, the travel guarantee funds can obtain an additional loan from the government. The guarantee fund can thus provide temporary credit to a travel organization that have issued vouchers for package tours.
  • TONK: Entrepreneurs faced with financial difficulties as a result of the corona measures. This scheme, the Temporary Support for Necessary Costs (TONK), runs through municipalities and is open until 30 September 2021. Read more about TONK.
  • RBC: To help businesses that suffered damages because of rioting and looting in the first week of the curfew, the government and insurance companies will install a fund, the 'Regeling bedrijvenschade corona-rellen' (Arrangement for businesses damaged by curfew riots) to compensate those damages that are not covered by the usual business insurances and that fall under the policy's deductible excess (eigen risico). Businesses that have not taken out insurance will also be eligible for this compensation. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency will execute the scheme. It will open in mid-February.
The government regularly announces updates and extensions to the existing measures. Read the article News: more corona support measures for entrepreneurs for the latest information.

Help for employers and employees

  • Read the article Employer during the corona crisis to find out what you can and must do to keep the workplace safe.
  • NL Werkt Door: Employers can use the NLWerktDoor! (The Netherlands keeps on working, in Dutch) website to offer or look for temporary employees on loan. The scheme was set up by the Employee Insurance Agency UWV, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, several municipalities, employers, and trade unions.
  • NL Leert Door (closed): On 1 August, the government launched a temporary support scheme NL Leert Door (The Netherlands keeps on learning) for the career development and training of anyone, working or not, from age 18 to retirement. On the hoewerktnederland.nl (in Dutch) website, you will be able to find free online courses and self-development advice. The first stage of NL Leert Door, the free-of-charge advice program applications, has now reached its limit of 22,000 applicants and is closed.

Credits and guarantees

  • BMKB-C: From 16 March 2020 to 31 December 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme is extended to help SMEs that are affected by the coronavirus secure bank guarantees and bridge financing.
  • BL-C: For agricultural entrepreneurs, the equivalent of the BMKB-C is the Credit Guarantee scheme for Agriculture (BL-C).
  • GO: The Business loan guarantee scheme (GO) has been extended until 31 december 2021.
  • Microcredit: Entrepreneurs who have a loan from microcredit provider Qredits do not have to repay their loan for a period of 6 months. During this period, the interest will be reduced to 2%. The government supports Qredits with 6 million euros.
  • Small Credits for Corona Guarantee Scheme (KKC): SMEs with relatively small financial needs may be eligible for a bridging loan of up to €50,000 under the Small Credits for Corona Guarantee Scheme (Klein Krediet Corona garantieregeling or KKC). This credit measure has been extended until 31 december 2021.
  • Re-launch credit for SMEs: SMEs can apply for credit to help them get back on their feet after the corona crisis. Qredits extends credit and advice. Application is possible from 1 June.
  • Tozo: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo, a loan to bridge the loss of income in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality how to apply.
  • Tozo for entrepreneurs living abroad: If your company is in the Netherlands, but you live abroad (in the EER or Switzerland), you can apply to the municipality of Maastricht for a business loan.
  • Growth Facility Scheme: The intended phasing out of the Growth Facility Scheme has been extended to 15 juni 2023.
  • Proof-of-concept funding: Businesses that make use of the Proof-of-concept funding scheme (VFF) or the Innovation credit scheme (IK) can apply for a repayment extension. Also, no interest will be levied on the VFF.
  • Export credit insurance: The government has extended the export credit insurance facility.
  • DTIF: The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) has been extended to include pre-delivery advances.

Expired measures:

  • TOGS: The Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) expired on 26 June 2020. It was replaced by the TVL scheme.
  • COL: Startups and scale-ups were able to apply for the 'Corona-Overbruggingslening' (Corona Bridging Loan or COL) until 16 May 2021.
  • Compensation for turnover loss for horticultural businesses and potato farmers: Horticultural businesses (food and ornamental) and farmers who produce processing potatoes could claim compensation for part of their turnover loss until 18 June 2020.
  • Indirect Emission Costs Subsidy Scheme (ETS): The Indirect Emission Costs Subsidy Scheme (ETS) was made available sooner. It closed 15 April.
  • TOFA: The Temporary Bridging measure for Flex Workers or TOFA compensates flex workers that have been laid off after 1 March due to the corona crisis, and who cannot claim benefits. Application at the UWV closed on 27 July 2020.
  • Temporary support for local media: the Temporary Support for Local Media scheme for the period 15 September - 15 December2020 has closed.

Tax options for entrepreneurs

The Dutch Tax Administration has taken several measures to help entrepreneurs. Are you having difficulty repaying taxes or bank loans? There are also possibilities for payment and tax and loan repayment extensions.

Call the Tax Information Line

Since the information on the tax options offered to entrepreneurs during the coronavirus crisis is mostly only available in Dutch, it would be wise to consult the Tax Information Line if Dutch isn't your first language. The number for resident entrepreneurs is +31 (0)800 0543; non-residents can call +31(0)55 538 53 85.

It is also a good idea to ask someone - your accountant, for instance - to help you.

Several municipal and regional taxes have also been extended:

Tools

If you need help finding out for which scheme you are eligible, try using one of the following tools:

  • The Corona Calculator (in Dutch): employers organisation VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland have prepared this tool to help you find the schemes you're eligible for, and calculate their impact on your financial position. In Dutch.
  • Krijgiktozo (in Dutch): a tool to see if you are eligible for the temporary benefit for self-employed professionals Tozo. In Dutch.
  • Rekenhulp omzetverlies (Turnover loss calculator, in Dutch): this tool helps you find if if you qualify for the NOW scheme. In Dutch.


Rules and protocols for businesses

Check the rules for your business sector in these articles. The rules and protocols have been drawn up by the government together with the sector organisations.

You can also check with your own sector organisation (in Dutch) about the corona rules.
It is mandatory to wear non-medical face masks in public indoor spaces for everyone aged 13 or over. The article Face masks and your company explains how this obligation works.
Do you have complaints related to the corona virus about the safety of your workplace or the conditions in which you have to work? Or do you see fraud involving corona-related subsidies or schemes? Then report it to the Inspectorate SZW. You can do so using this form.

Coaching by Entrepreneurs Sounding Board

The Foundation Entrepreneurs Sounding Board (Stichting Ondernemersklankbord, OKB) offers free coaching to SMEs that have been affected by the corona crisis. Read how to apply.
To protect your employees, your clients, and yourself, follow the RIVM advice:
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
  • Use paper tissues
  • Don't shake hands
  • Keep at least 6 feet distance from each other

General health measures

  • People must work from home, unless it is vital that you work on site.
  • When indoors in a public place, wear a face mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Everyone in the Netherlands who has symptoms of COVID-19 can apply for a test. If you or one of your employees starts having complaints that correspond with the coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and apply for a test. If you test positive, aid the GGD with their contact tracing.
  • As of 24 June, the restrictions for travel into the Netherlands from Albania, Lebanon, North-Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, the United States, and Hong Kong have been lifted. The rule of thumb is: If you live in a country where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low (a safe country), you may also travel to the Netherlands. You can enter the Netherlands, provided you can show two negative test results: from a corona test and a 'rapid test'. After arrival in the Netherlands you must self-quarantine for ten days, also when the test results were negative. Border workers are mostly exempt. Read the Government.nl checklist for detailed information.
  • The government no longer advises against travel to countries with a low infection rate. Countries with code green or yellow can be travelled to for recreation. For countries with code red a negative travel advice remains in force. Travel advice can be found here.

Information and advice

You can turn to these organisations for further information and advice:


General health

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM

Government.nl


Business and work

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Coronaloket

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

TechLeap.nl

Inspectorate SZW

Travel / immigration /emigration

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

The Netherlands and You

International resources


European Commission

World Health Organization (WHO)

FME, technology sector organisation

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Government.nl
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst