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.
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New corona measures from 28 November
From 28 November, stricter corona measures apply for at least 3 weeks. These include:
- An evening lockdown will be instated. This means that all non-essential shops, restaurants, cafés, cultural institutions, cinemas, and museums must close their doors between 17:00 and 05:00 hours. This also applies to contact professionals, including hairdressers, nail stylists, beauty salons, and sex workers. And to indoor and outdoor sports facilities.
- Takeaway and delivery of food and drink remains possible past 17:00 hours.
- Essential shops, including supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, and drug stores, can remain open until 20:00 hours.
- Essential service providers, including medical contact professionals, notary or lawyer, and mortgage broker, can keep their regular opening hours.
- For all public indoor spaces, a maximum of 1 person per 5 m2 will be allowed. This applies with and without a mandatory corona entry pass.
- All venues that require a corona entry pass for access, will also need to facilitate and enforce 1.5 metres distance. Face masks will still be mandatory when visitors move through the space.
- Events can have a maximum of 1,250 visitors. All events must be seated, with 1.5 metres distance. Face masks are mandatory when moving through the space.
- Schools will remain open, but face masks will be mandatory in the hallways for students from the 6th grade in primary school and up.
- Sports sessions outdoors may take place after 17:00 hours, with a maximum of 4 people (not counting instructors) and only at the mandatory distance of 1.5 meters.
- Training and matches for professional athletes may continue in the evening.
- Access to the public indoor areas of sports venues, including sport canteens, dressing rooms, toilets for everyone aged 18 years requires a corona entry pass.
See the Government.nl article for the complete list.
The following corona measures remain in place:
- The corona entry pass (the CoronaCheck app) applies to gyms, swimming pools, casinos, theatres, cinemas, and locations with a flow of people such as museums and monuments. Also outside seating areas at bars and restaurants.
- No spectators are allowed at sports matches, professional or amateur.
The stricter measures will take effect for at least 3 weeks. On 14 December, the government will announce which further measures will be taken to slow down the spread of coronavirus: the long-term policy.
Please consult the relevant articles for specific information on what applies to your business:
- Rules for the hospitality sector
- Rules for shops
- Rules for gyms and fitness centres
- Rules for tourism and events
- Rules for arts and culture
- Rules for coffeeshops
- General rules for running businesses
- Employer during the corona crisis: what you can and must do
Corona support: financial measures
Most financial support measures ended per 1 October, but some have been extended until end 2021. However, the government has announced financial support measures to compensate entrepreneurs who are affected by the stricter rules from 13 November onward. For more information on these and other support measures now in place, see the article Corona support for entrepreneurs after 1 October 2021.
The Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme has been reinstated for the 4th quarter of 2021. Entrepreneurs who have never before received TVL can apply too. You are eligible for TVL if you have lost at least 30% of your income over the 4th quarter.
The TVL replaces the VLN (Reimbursement fixed costs night closure hospitality sector) for hospitality entrepreneurs who had to close their doors from 00:00 - 06:00h.
You can apply for the Unemployment benefit during short-time working (WTV), if unforeseen circumstances mean you have less work for your employees. You cannot apply for WTV to compensate turnover loss due to corona.
Employers can soon apply for a next round of the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW,Tijdelijke Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkbehoud). The NOW runs for 3-month periods, up to and including December 2021.
Self-employed professionals could apply for Tozo, the temporary benefit or business loan to bridge the loss of income until 1 October 2021 in the municipality where you live.
Easier to apply for regular Financial support for self-employed professionals (Bbz)
You cannot apply for Tozo anymore. You can apply for the regular Financial support for self-employed professionals, the Bbz. Until 1 January 2022, the rules for applying for Bbz are less strict:
- Municipalities will not perform a means test
- You can apply for Bbz with retroactive effect for up to 2 months prior to your application. The municipality determines the height of the Bbz benefit per calendar month (instead of per book year).
You can no longer apply for TONK, this scheme ended on 1 October 2021. Entrepreneurs faced with financial difficulties as a result of the corona measures could apply for Temporary Support for Necessary Costs (TONK) for a maximum of 9 months. Necessary costs are for instance rent, mortgage payments, municipal taxes, and gas and electricity. The scheme was executed by municipalities. Read more about TONK.
There are several schemes to support business sectors, such as:
- vouchers for travel organisations that offer package tours
- support for bookshops
- the subsidy for cancelled events
- subsidy for the storage and transport of fireworks
For more information, see the article Corona support for entrepreneurs after 1 October 2021.
As of 1 October, many of the financial corona support measures in Belgium are closing. For businesses in the border regions, this means there are fewer possibilities for applying for corona support. To find out which measures still apply, check the Belgian coronavirus website.
Germany has extended part of the financial support package for entrepreneurs. Read more on the German Ministry of Finance website (in German).
Payroll tax and cross-border workers
The corona crisis forces many employees to work from their homes. Or they are forced to remain at home. If you employ workers who live in Germany and have to work from or stay at home, you can still withhold Dutch wage tax from their pay. This agreement between the Dutch, Belgian, and German tax offices has been extended until 31 December 2021.
TravelThe Euregion Maas-Rijn has developed a crossing borders tool. In a few clicks, you can see if you can travel to Belgium or Germany/North Rhine-Westphalia, and how to prepare. It also tells you which measures you must take upon your return to the Netherlands.
Repaying corona support
Did you receive financial corona support? For some measures, such as the NOW, you have to file a final turnover statement for every 3-month period over which you received support. You may have to repay part of the support money received. Are you not sure if you need to repay? Or do you want to find out about the repayment schemes? Read the article Repaying corona support: what you need to know and do.
Credits and guarantees
- BMKB-C: until 31 December 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme helps 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) runs until 31 december 2021.
- 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 runs 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 is reduced to 2%.
- Re-launch credit for SMEs (TOA): SMEs in financial difficulties that are making use of the WHOA can apply for TOA credit to help them get back on their feet after the corona crisis.
- Growth Facility Scheme: The intended phasing out of the Growth Facility Scheme has been extended to 15 juni 2023.
- DTIF: The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) has been extended to include pre-delivery advances. This extra package is on offer until the end of 2021.
Call the Tax Information Line
Since most of the information on the tax options offered to entrepreneurs during the coronavirus crisis is only available in Dutch, it would be wise to consult the Tax Information Line if Dutch is not 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.
General health measures
- People are urgently advised to work from home, and to keep a safe distance from each other when working on site.
- Work places must be ventilated properly.
- Wearing face masks is mandatory in all indoor public places when not seated. In public transport face masks must remain on while seated as well.
- 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.
- If you travel to the Netherlands from a high-risk country, you likely do not need to self-isolate if you are fully vaccinated. Read the Government.nl checklist for detailed information.
Please note: There is currently a flight ban from some countries in Southern Africa, due to the omikron variant of corona. If you enter the Netherlands from those countries, additonal measures do apply, including self-isolation. Read more about the flight ban.
- 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:
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM
- National information phone: 0800-1351 (from abroad dial +312 0205 1351)
- Advice and information on the coronavirus
- Current information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19
- Information on contact tracing
- Coronavirus dashtravboard
- Tackling new coronavirus in the Netherlands
- Frequently asked questions about coronavirus and health
Business and work
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Coronaloket
- Advice and information on the coronavirus for entrepreneurs (in Dutch)
- Call the KVK Coronaloket: 0800 2117, open Mon-Fri from 8:30-17:00 hours. From abroad: +31 (0)88 585 2222.
Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
Travel / immigration /emigration
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
- Coronavirus response - information on the health and socio-economic measures proposed by the EC
World Health Organization (WHO)
FME, technology sector organisation