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Government information for entrepreneurs

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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.

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 shoppingExternal link (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 coronaprotocolExternal link. Please note: a protocol is not legislation, but an elaboration of the RIVM's advice for the workplace.

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.

  • 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.
  • You must ensure everyone can maintain 1.5 metres distance inside and in front of your store.
  • 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 you store
  • Customers must use shopping carts if you have these

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.
  • Make sure employees who come into contact with your customers are able to take their temperature every day.

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 rules for responsible shopping are 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