**WE WILL CONTINOUSLY UPDATE THIS PAGE WITH RELEVANT NEWS**
Updated: 31st of March
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Erasmus Student Network (ESN) The Netherlands wants to express it solidarity, help and support to all those who are suffering because of COVID-19. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all our friends worldwide. As an organization with the motto 'Students helping Students', we contiously will update you on the current situation in the Netherlands regarding COVID-19. We kindly suggest you to follow to guidelines and measures of the Dutch Authorities, which can be found on this page.
This is a challenging period for us all: for all the international students in our small country to all our volunteers that do their best to make your stay here as pleasent as possible. In act of responsibility, our 18 sections have cancellend and/or posponted their activities in order to reduce the potential possibility to spread COVID-19, and thereby, following the lines of the government to contribute to the public health. We are all sorry that we can't organise the amazing activities for you to show the beauty of our country and culture. Once the situation has calmed down, we will get back to you, to give you the experience in the Netherlands that you deserve.
We would like to leave a message to all the international students here in the Netherlands and who are confronted with the complex situation. Please remain calm and stay safe in these times. Additionally, if you have any questions or worries, don't hesitate to contact your local ESN section or ESN The Netherlands. We will always be here to support you and help when needed, especially in times like this. Don't feel alone in this situation, even if you are far away from home, because you're not alone. ESN is one big family, that will always take care of you.
Untill that, we wish you all the best and may your experience still be amazing.
General Information from the Public Health and the Environment (RIVM):
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) of the Netherlands is applying the following measures in the whole country:
Stay at home as much as you can. Only go outside for work if you cannot work from home, for groceries, or to take care of others. It’s allowed to get some fresh air, but do not do this in a group. Always keep a distance from others (at least 1.5 meters) and avoid social activities and groups of people. Also at home: have a maximum of three visitors and keep a distance even then.
When you cough or have a cold, you already have to stay at home. In case you also get a fever, every person in your household has to stay inside - with the exception of people in crucial professions and vital processes, unless they become ill themselves.
All gatherings are forbidden until 1 June (instead of 1 April), including those for less than a hundred participants. There will be an exception for funerals and church weddings for which more information will be published later.
Stores and public transport are required to take measures to ensure the distance between people, for instance through a new door policy.
Hairdressers, beauticians and other so-called ‘contact professions’ will not be allowed to continue their work until April 28th. For physical therapists counts: work through video calls as much as possible.
Mayors can designate areas where group formation is prohibited. These can be parks, beaches or neighborhoods. In case groups of three or more people do not keep to the 1.5 meter distance, fines will be given. There is an exception for people in the same household, such as families, or children.
Markets are excluded from the previous measures, as they are in some places an essential part of society. Municipalities will however look how the 1.5 meter will be guaranteed.
Previously announced measures will stay in force. Mayors are allowed to do more to enforce the measures, including the issuing of fines for those not respecting the measures.
All the measures are in effect till the 28th of April.
The measures taken are focused on not overloading the care capacity and to help the vulnerable part of the population. The measures are based on the advice of experts.
For all the information, and to prevent you from misinformation, we suggest you to visit the website of the RIVM
Please note that this is a new and highly contagious disease. However, outbreaks can be managed with appropriate measures (see below), and the vast majority of infected people will recover (Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves and others from the virus. (WHO source)
We therefore advise you to follow the WHO recommendations for the public:
- Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.