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Rules for shops in the 1.5 metre society

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Is your shop open to customers during the corona crisis? Then everyone inside the shop must maintain a safe distance. This applies to customers and personnel. You must make the rules clear and visible at the entrance of the shop. These rule are in place to avoid infections with the coronavirus and to limit the impact of the coronavirus.

Additional measures from 14 October

From 14 October 22:00 hours additional and stricter measures will be in place.

For shops this means that:

  • all shops must close at 20.00 at the latest, with the exception of supermarkets and other food stores
  • sales of alcohol is prohibited between 20.00 and 7.00 hours
  • shops must strictly adhere to the rules in the protocols and the basic corona rules. If they fail to do so or the shop gets too crowded, the establishment can be closed down by the authorities.

Rules for shopkeepers

You as a shopkeeper are responsible for the safety in your store and for your customers to comply with the rules. In case of emergency you can ask for police assistance, as you would in case of shoplifting.

  • Shop managers must have a door policy to make sure all customers can maintain 1.5 metres distance
  • Larger supermarkets will be obliged to offer twice daily shopping hours for vulnerable groups. This measure is still being developed in coordination with the sector organisations.
  • The government strongly advises wearing face masks indoors in public spaces and is and is working on an obligation to wear facemasks in places such as stores, museums and airports. The wearing of a non-medical facemask will shortly be mandatory for anyone 13 years of age and older. Read more on face masks and your company
  • Ensure maximum hygiene, especially of and around the pin device
  • Employees who have symptoms of a cold must stay at home
  • Rules for customers and personnel are displayed outside the store as well as inside.
  • Make clear how many customers may be in your shop at the same time. You may refuse entrance.
  • Deliver online orders to the front door, not inside
  • Remove samples, tastings, testers etc. from your store
  • Customers must use shopping carts if you have these

Protocol for responsible shopping

Business organisations and the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy have made arrangements that apply to retail activities. These commitments are based on the guidelines drawn up by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and are laid down in the Protocol for responsible shopping (Protocol verantwoord winkelen, in Dutch). Each sector organisation has specific arrangements for their type of business. You can find all protocols on the Dutch-language website Mijn coronaprotocol. Please note: a protocol is not legislation, but an elaboration of the RIVM's advice for the workplace.

If 1.5 metres distancing is impossible

For those entrepreneurs who cannot maintain 1.5 metres distance such as opticians, the following applies:

  • See your customers on appointment as much as possible to spread customer contact across the day
  • Ask your customers if they have any health issues such as a cold, runny nose, sore throat, (slight) fever or coughing.

Rules for customers

The main rules for customers are:

  • avoid crowds
  • make contactless payments with debit card or smartphone if at all possible
  • maintain 1.5 metres distance and follow up shop personnel’s instructions
  • buy and touch only those products you need


The Dutch government offers several types of posters and leaflets, including specifically for shops. The rules for responsible shopping are also directly available as downloadable posters on the government’s website, both in Dutch and in English:

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO