Coronavirus updates for Amsterdam

Written by on 16/03/2020

Broadcast Amsterdam radio station will bring the city additional live radio broadcasts during the period of social distancing measures across the country, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. We will share the latest local news but we also want to provide company for all of you at home.


Listen to live shows, our 24/7 programming, or catch up on demand, all on

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Monday to Friday, 07:00-09:00 | Chris Willis now broadcasts a live breakfast show full of local news, music and chat.

Monday to Friday, 13:00-14:00 | We also have a live show every lunchtime, with up to date news, more music and some local stories.

Saturday, 10:00-12:00 | On Amsterdam Kitchen, Geli & Cathy are live with local food delivery options, home cooking tips and some good music to brunch with.

Sunday, 20:00-22:00 | Our Slowdown Show recaps on the last week and looks to the week ahead, with more chilled out music tracks, chosen by Ruth Wilson (she takes requests btw).

Much of our other weekly programming will continue. We broadcast a mix of great music and local stories 24/7.

And if you miss any of our live shows, just catch up on demand.

Selected news items

The Netherlands will start reopening primary schools and daycare centres from May 11 but organised events remain banned until 1 September, prime minister Mark Rutte told a news conference on 21 April, as reported by and other news organisations. The decision to reopen schools is based on a wide range of research which shows that young children are unlikely to pass on the COVID-19 virus or develop serious symptoms themselves, according to the public health institute RIVM. Children will also be able to play sports again under certain conditions. The ban on events is being extended from 1 June to 1 September and visits to nursing homes remain banned. Rutte stressed that the basic social distancing rules – working home, staying home as much as possible, and maintaining 1.5m distance from others – remain paramount and will be extended until 20 May at least.


Special measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands are to be extended until 28 April, at least, prime minister Mark Rutte told a press conference on 31 March (source: This means cafes, restaurants, museums, sports clubs and schools will remain shut for a further three weeks after 6 April. As the meivakantie school holidays start on 25 April, in effect, schools will definitely be closed until 11 May at least. Also, parents considering booking a holiday away during the Easter or May break should not do so, the prime minister said as there’s a chance the measures may be extended again, past 28 April.


The Dutch government introduced a raft of new measures to combat coronavirus on March 23. As reported by DutchNews.nlthese include: 

  • All gatherings to be banned up to June 1, but an exception will be made for funerals and church weddings. 
  • People should remain home unless they have to go out to work, to do shopping or to care for other people.
  • You can go out for a walk to get some fresh air, but not in a group. Keep 1.5 metres away from other people. 
  • No more than three people should visit in your home at the same time, and only then if they can keep 1.5 metres apart. 
  • If any member of a family is ill, the entire family should stay home, apart from people in an essential profession. 
  • Shops and public transport companies must take measures to ensure people remain 1.5 metres apart. 
  • Companies which do not comply can be fined €4,000. Services which involve direct contact with others, such as hairdressers and nail bars, are closed until April 6. 
  • Casinos are also being closed down. 
  • Mayors have the power to close areas where people gather in larger groups, such as parks and beaches. 
  • People who do not stick to the rules can be fined €400.

22 March | On Saturday it was very busy in various markets in Amsterdam and visitors seemed not to be bothered by the advice to keep their distance, says a report by Het Parool. That is why the Amsterdam-Amstelland safety region is now announcing additional measures.The security region recognises that markets are important for the food supply, but says that they can only remain open if visitors adhere to the RIVM rule and keep a distance of 1.5m. Markets where there are more than 100 people at the same time must meet eight conditions if they are to remain open, including the following:

  • stalls must be further spread out and, if necessary, stalls that don’t contribute to the food supply must be removed from the market
  • food vendors must ensure that the food is not consumed on the spot
  • seating options will be removed.

If visitors and markets do not comply with the measures drawn up, the chairman of the security region, in this case Mayor Halsema, can decide at any time to close the market.

21 March | For those who work with corona patients, they don’t just need a face mask as protection, the eyes must also be well covered to prevent contamination. As Het Parool reports, that is why Amsterdam hospitals have asked people to donate safety glasses, like those used for firework protection.For example, the OLVG has put out a request on Twitter for safety glasses, saying the glasses should be adult size, unused, and preferably with closed sides. They can be dropped at the hospital’s branch in Oost. The AMC and the BovenIJ hospitals have also welcomed donations of suitable safety glasses for working with corona patients.

16 March | A large part of the population in the Netherlands will get the coronavirus. That is what Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in his television speech on Sunday 15 March, and as reported by AT5 news and other news outlets.
“The reality is that the virus is among us and will remain among us for the time being,” said Rutte. “There is no easy or quick way out of this very difficult situation. The reality is also that a large part of the Dutch population will be infected with the virus in the near future.”
“We need to shield people who are at greater risk as much as possible,” said Rutte. At the moment, the government wants to control the spread as much as possible so that the healthcare system is not overloaded. The measures may be adjusted within days or weeks. Rutte emphasised that many working people are struggling because of loss of income. The prime minister said the cabinet wants to support them. Finally, he called for the government’s directions to be followed, and for us to look out for one another.

15 March | Ministers Bruins (Medical Care) and Slob (Education) announced further drastic measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus (source: Het Parool) 

  • All schools, bars, restaurants, and sports clubs must be closed almost immediately, for a period of three weeks, from Sunday evening, until April 6.
  • Bruins also stated, if residents meet each other, for example in the supermarket, they have to keep about a meter and a half distance from each other. 
  • Childcare is provided for children of people who work in crucial sectors, for example in health care or emergency services. 
  • Supermarkets may remain open. Bruins also appealed to residents not to hoard supplies. 
  • Meal delivery companies stated that they would continue to work.

12 March | The cabinet have announced news measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands. The measures are as follows:

  • People who suffer from a cold, cough, sore throat or fever should stay at home and avoid social contacts until they have recovered.
  • Everyone should work at home as much as possible.
  • In addition, vulnerable groups – the elderly and people with less resistance – should avoid traveling by public transport and avoid large groups.
  • All events for more than 100 people will be canceled. This means that, for example, musicals and concerts are canceled, sports competitions are canceled and many churches and mosques close their doors. Many museums are also closing.

Sources: Het Parool / AT5 / / | /

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