The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment received over 48 thousand applications for working time reduction. The spike in applications means that their processing will take longer than usual, and is also resulting in the Ministry's website crashing every now and again, the Ministry said on Tuesday.
The spread of coronavirus Covid-19 is severely affecting the flower sector in the Netherland. Due to the virus, the export of flowers and other plants have come to a near stand still, according to NOS
This was also visible at the flower auction in Aalsmeer on Monday. Buyers stayed away en masse, resulting in about half of the 30 million flowers on offer not being sold, Royal FloraHolland said in a press release.
The Netherlands generated more electricity from sustainable sources than from coal for the first time ever last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday. The amount of energy produced also reached record high.
Last year the Netherlands produced 121 billion kWh of electricity, 6 percent more than in 2018. Electricity generated using coal decreased from over 27 billion kWh in 2018 to over 17 billion kWh last year. And energy generated from sustainable sources increased from nearly 19 billion kWh to nearly 22 billion kWh.
Some 7 million people watched Prime Minister Mark Rutte address the nation on television on Monday evening. Rutte discussed the situation around the Covid-19 outbreak. He said that a large proportion of the Dutch population would likely be infected with the virus, discussed the measures that were being taken and why, and call on Netherlands residents to get through this difficult time together.
After ordering restaurants and other catering businesses, including coffeeshops, closed until at east April 6 on Sunday, the government announced on Monday that these establishments can reopen, but only for takeaways and deliveries.
Airline Transavia received permission to organize a number of extra flights to pick up Dutch people stranded in Morocco, the Dutch embassy in Rabat said. Morocco canceled all flights due to the coronavirus Covid-19, leaving many people stranded, AD reports.
On Sunday afternoon, Transavia reported that at least one flight will bring passengers from Marrakech to Amsterdam on Monday. "We are preparing even more extra flights. As soon as these become available, they can also be booked directly via our website," the airline said to the newspaper.
The maximum speed limit on all Dutch highways was reduced to 100 kilometers per hour as of Monday, March 16. Until Monday, the maximum speed limit was 120 km/h on some roads. This speed imit applies between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., according to travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat.
The coronavirus Covid-19 and the national measures taken to fight its further spread is wreaking havoc in the hospitality and recreation industries, and among the around 3 million people in the Netherlands who work on flexible contracts or as freelancers - many of which work in hospitality and recreation. Quick measures are needed to make sure these workers don't sink, according to experts.
The Netherlands awoke to a country that has largely come to a stand still on Monday morning. With businesses, schools and daycares largely ordered shut until April 6th, the roads and public transit were very quiet. As a result, both travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat reported no traffic jams this morning - an unprecedented situation, NU.nl reports.
Stringent measures taken to battle the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 are affecting all aspects of the Netherlands. Most court cases and parliamentary debates have been canceled. Community service has been suspended. And the Netherlands is no longer taking in asylum seekers. Freelancers suddenly unable to go to work are also facing problems.
A cheerful, smiling blond woman named Dee walked out of coffeeshop Nogal Wiedes in Amsterdam Centrum having purchased a gram of hash just before the government's new emergency measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic took effect. The policy was introduced at about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, and included a mandate that all restaurants, bars, cafes, fitness centers, saunas, sex clubs, and coffeeshops close from 6 p.m. on Sunday through April 6.
Dozens of countries and territories implemented emergency measures to contain or prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in their lands on Saturday. While Dutch airline KLM said it would work to repatriate passengers, its subsidiary Transavia recommend people scheduled on cancelled flights quickly rebook their tickets to an available option if possible.
As a response, the Dutch government updated its travel advice to 14 different countries. A short description of these advisories follows this article.
In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Dutch flag carrier KLM announced it was slashing 25 percent of its schedule in March, and between 30-40 percent of its flights over the following three months. The airline said it would also cut the equivalent of up to two thousand full time jobs, starting on Saturday.
The Netherlands will begin banning the arrival of flights from several countries among the most affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The decision will affect flights from China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea, said Infrastructure Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen on Friday after a meeting with Cabinet members.
Minister Arie Slob for Primary- and Secondary Education is sticking to the decision to keep schools open for the time being, despite concerns about the coronavirus spreading. He stressed on Friday that pupils and teachers with any symptoms of illness must stay home, NOS reports.
The hospitality and entertainment industries are hit hard by the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19, and the measures the Dutch government announced to fight the spread of the virus. The number of cancellations in the Netherlands increased by 48 percent and no new reservations are coming, hospitality association KHN said to BNR.
People in the Netherlands seem to be heeding Prime Minsitter Mark Rutte's call to work from home as much as possible. The train stations were "extremely quiet" on Friday morning. And there were hardly any traffic jams on the roads.
It was "extremely quiet" on the trains and a the stations on Friday morning, a spokesperson for rail company NS said to NU.nl. "We actually have not had a rush hour. We do not have hard figures yet, but conductors and employees at stations see the call to work from home and not to go out has been answered."
After Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced new measures against coronavirus Covid-19 on Thursday, people in the Netherlands seemed to start hoarding toilet paper and non-perishables. Social media is full of pictures showing empty shelves in Dutch supermarkets. But according to the supermarkets themselves, the problems are not so bad.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands will offer no physical education for the rest of this month. Exams in lecture halls are canceled, as are other educational activities, the associations involved announced.
Klaas Knot, director of Dutch central bank DNB, does not rule out the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic will bring the Dutch economy into a recession. "You don't need a very serious corona scenario, on top of what we expect now, for our economy to also come close to a recession," he said to Nieuwsuur after a meeting at the European Central Bank (ECB).
Parliamentarians from both coalition and opposition parties are worried about the government's decision to keep schools open for the time being.
The top stock market index traded in the Netherlands suffered its worst single-day loss since 1987. The AEX Index, a listing of the top 25 blue chip stocks on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange, lost 10.75 percent of its value on Thursday.
The index, which includes companies like KPN, Shell, Philips, and the country's top banks, has lost over 31 percent since hitting its all-time high on February 14 just before the coronavirus crisis hit Europe. The AEX closed on Thursday at 432.10, returning to levels last seen in October 2016.
The Tax Authority is letting companies who can demonstrate in writing that they have run into problems due to the coronavirus defer on income tax, corporate tax, turnover tax or wage tax for the time being, the government said in a letter to parliament on Thursday, NOS reports.
The government is also expanding the guarantees for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Henceforth, the government will guarantee 75 percent of SME loans, instead of the previous 50 percent.