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Corona: rules for shops in the 1.5 metre society

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

All non-essential shops must remain closed until (and including) 9 February 2021. Shops for basic necessities such as among others supermarkets and other food stores, chemists and gas stations may stay open for business. Delivery is allowed.

You can consult the Dutch-language list to find out which shops may be open for business.

Other services that are allowed to stay open are:

  • professional services (such as banks, notary offices, real estate agencies)
  • sales of flowers outside
  • take away from DIY stores (hardware stores)
  • service outlets for sending and receiving mail, parcels and packages

Everyone inside the shops that are allowed to remain open for business must make sure to follow all basic corona rules. This applies to customers and personnel. You must make sure the rules are clear and visible at the entrance of the shop and inside your store. If your customers or personnel do not follow the rules or the shop gets too crowded, the authorities can close (part of) your establishment.

Opening hours

All shops must close at 20:00 at the latest. Late-night shopping is stopped. Supermarkets and other food stores may be open after 20:00 hours. Do you own or run a supermarket? You must have special opening hours for the elderly and vulnerable. This is usually twice a day for 1 hour.

1.5 metres distance

Shop managers must have a door policy to make sure all customers can maintain 1.5 metres distance. Make clear how many customers are allowed inside at any one time to be able to keep 1.5 metres distance. You may refuse entrance.

Safety in your store

You as a shopkeeper are responsible for the safety in your store. Your staff and customers must comply with the rules. Employees who have symptoms of a cold or with a fever must stay at home. You may refuse customers entrance to your store. In case of emergency you can ask for police assistance, as you would in case of shoplifting.

Cleaning shopping carts and baskets

You must regularly clean shopping carts, baskets, scanners and pin devices. This is especially important if you sell food and drinks. You may choose to have your customers clean shopping carts and baskets of have your staff clean them.

Sales of alcohol

Sales and delivery of alcohol is prohibited between 20:00 and 6:00 hours. If you sell alcohol online your customers may order after 20:00, but you cannot deliver until after 6:00 hours.

Face masks

The wearing of a non-medical face mask in public spaces such as stores, museums and airports is mandatory from 1 December 2020 (pdf available in 8 languages) for anyone 13 years of age and older. You may call on or refuse entrance to customers if they do not comply with this rule. Read more on face masks and your company.

Protocol for responsible shopping

Protocols have been drawn up with basic rules and guidelines for shops.

Shops must strictly keep to the rules in the protocols and the basic corona rules.

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.


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