Last updated on 30 December 2020
Corona rules in Rotterdam: face masks and distancing in March 2023
Although the Netherlands did not find it necessary to declare face masks mandatory on a national level, more and more cities in the country took restrictive measures in the month of August to contain the spreading of COVID-19.
Den Haag, September 28, 2020
Due to the increasing number of corona infections in the Netherlands, the cabinet has announced new measures at national level tonight. In addition to tightening up the current measures, Ministers Rutte and De Jonge have confirmed that the cabinet does not want to lock down the country immediately. Therefore, stronger measures will be introduced nationwide from the 29th of September at 6:00 PM.
Requirement and advice to wear face masks
Where you are required to wear face mask
Face masks remain mandatory on public transport, in airports, taxis and ferries across the country.
Nursing home employees and visitors must wear protective medical masks, as specified in a note by Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health).
Advice to wear a face mask
On the 28th of September, the mayors of the 25 security regions asked the cabinet to determine a central approach against coronavirus. In the main cities, the cabinet has not introduced a requirement to wear a face mask, but has recommended wearing it in shops and in interior spaces. Retailers may refuse someone if they do not want to wear a face mask.
Also on September 28, Mayor Halsema of Amsterdam encouraged all residents to wear a mouth mask in the public closed spaces.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, also chairman of the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region, wants face masks to be worn in more places: "Actually, this should be an advice for all residents, for all places where many people are together like town halls and museums."
The retailers and the catering industry are asked to include a duty to wear masks in their policy.
For example, HEMA has communicated that it will advise customers in the major cities to only enter shops with a face mask; wearing a mask is mandatory for the staff in those branches.
It is also urgent to wear a mask for all professions which involve a direct contact with public. The measures apply to the regions:
Read more about the measures against coronavirus in the Netherlands and the role of face masks.
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Where do I have to wear a face mask in Rotterdam?
Differently than in other Dutch cities such as The Hague, Rotterdam implemented the coronavirus rules in August and wearing a face mask became mandatory in many areas, specifically crowded streets and areas- even when you are riding a bike-, markets and shops.
As per Wednesday 5th August until Monday 31st August 2020, you were required to wear a face mask in the following venues in Rotterdam Centre: Lijnbaan, Meent, Nieuwe Binnenweg, Coolsingel and in the markets and shops in Visserijplein; Afrikaanderplein; Binnenrotte.
The use of protective face masks was also mandatory in the covered shopping centers Alexandrium and Zuidplein. The requirement went from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and applied to everyone above 13.
The project was not extended and as of Tuesday September 1st it is no longer mandatory to wear a face mask in public areas in Rotterdam. According to an evaluation of the Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond, wearing mouth masks had no negative effects on people's behavior and the places where it applied were never less crowded than usual. Further results will be likely communicated in the next few weeks.
Am I to wear a face mask in the restaurant?
In places where other national measures already apply, such as in restaurants, pubs and catering establishments, wearing a face mask will not be required by law. However, although face masks are not mandatory during the consumption of food and drinks, in Rotterdam such as in the rest of the Netherlands, you are expected to respect the current rules; therefore, social distancing of 1.5 meters is required except in a joint household or in groups of young people under 18.
From 1 July restaurants and catering establishments have no compulsory reservation or triage (questions about health complaints), and, as long as the building space allows visitors to keep 1,5 distance from each other, there are no limitations on the number of guests that can accommodate.
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Can I visit a museum in Rotterdam without a face mask?
In Rotterdam there are no specific restrictions for museum visitors; this means that you are allowed to go to museums, exhibitions, concert halls and theaters without wearing a face mask. You are though required to respect the RIVM indications and make sure to always keep the minimum social distance.
Where else do I need a face mask?
In the Netherlands, non-medical face masks are mandatory on all public transport; thus, in Rotterdam you need a face mask on buses, trains, trams and boats.
There is still no indication from mayor Aboutaleb about how long this project will go on; the pilot is expected to last around 3-4 weeks, after which an evaluation will follow and it will be decided whether Rotterdam citizens will have to wear face masks for longer.
The face mask requirement applies to all public venues in the designated areas, but does not apply to homes, gardens and offices. This obligation does apply though to public gardens and parks.