Coronavirus: information for businesses

The coronavirus is having a major impact on businesses in The Hague. Look at the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus. This page will be updated as soon as more information is available.

For up-to-date information also follow the Ondernemersportaal on Twitter: OPDenHaag. You can also subscribe the the newsletter of the Ondernemersportaal: Den Haag Onderneemt.

Financial measures

Overview of financial measures

In response to the coronavirus, the government has decided to take exceptional economic measures. These are intended to protect public health as well as jobs and incomes and to cushion the impact on self-employed workers, SMEs and large enterprises.

  • There is a comprehensive emergency package of financial schemes for companies and (independent) entrepreneurs, including self-employed workers. You can find detailed information on the website of the Dutch government. Go to:

    On 20 May the government decided to extend and expand the emergency package for jobs and the economy. You can find more information on the website of the Dutch government (in Dutch).
  • The Chamber of Commerce and employers' organisation VNO-NCW (the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers)/MKB Nederland (the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) have devised a number of tools. These will show you the schemes for which you are eligible:

  • Because of the coronavirus, entrepreneurs and employed persons will also receive financial assistance in the weeks ahead. The government has further expanded the extended emergency package for jobs and the economy. The measures have been extended by 1 month, until 1 October 2020. The tax-free Reimbursement of Fixed Costs (Tegemoetkoming Vaste Lasten, TVL) for SMEs and the Corona Bridging Loan (COL) for innovative companies (start-ups and scale-ups) will also be increased. 

    You can find more information on the website of the Dutch government (in Dutch).

Applying for the schemes

Tozo, NOW and TOGS are the 3 major income support and salary allowance schemes. Go to the website of the Dutch government to see which of these 3 schemes you are eligible for. You could be eligible for more than one.

  • You can apply for the Temporary income support for independent businesses (Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling voor zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo)) at the municipality. The measure consists of 2 parts:

    1. A temporary income bridging measure for a maximum of 4 months. This supplements your income up to the social minimum.
    2. A loan for business capital for companies with acute liquidity problems.

    The temporary income support and the loan for business capital are intended for independent entrepreneurs (including self-employed workers) who live and are registered in the Municipality of The Hague and who are facing financial difficulties as a result of the corona crisis.

    You can find more detailed information on the page: Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling voor zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo) vanaf 1 juni (in Dutch).

  • The NOW scheme (Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment) is an allowance for companies that expect to lose at least 20% of their sales over a 3-month period because of the coronavirus. Employers can submit an application to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) for the NOW subsidy.
  • Under the TOGS scheme (reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme), entrepreneurs can receive a one-off allowance of €4,000 net to pay their overheads. You can submit an application for the TOGS to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
  • The COL is a supplementary measure for start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs, or SMEs that do not have a credit relationship with a bank. This largely concerns businesses that are largely financed from external equity capital. You can find more information on the criteria and application procedure on the website of the Regional Development Corporations.
  • SME entrepreneurs in i.a. catering establishments, recreational establishments, events, fun fairs, festivals and theatres receive a tax-free allowance from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to pay their fixed tangible costs. This allowance comes on top of the allowance under the NOW scheme. Depending on their size, the amount of their fixed costs and the extent of their lost sales (at least 30%), businesses receive an allowance for their overheads of up to €50,000 (the original announcement was for €20,000) for the next 4 months (was 3 months). You can submit an application for this scheme to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) from mid-June.

Local measures for The Hague

On 20 March 2020 the Municipal Executive presented a local support package to help small and medium-sized enterprises and employees get through the crisis. Read the summary of these measures and how you might benefit from them.

    • Expansion of information supply for business owners (including self-employed persons)
    • Scaling-up the services of the desk for self-employed persons (bureau zelfstandigen). Self-employed persons can receive additional income support for living costs for a period of 3 months through an accelerated procedure
    • Extra use of account management because many companies have their own unique challenges and the municipality would like to respond to each specifically.
    • Option to suspend payment of tourist tax.
    • Option to suspend property tax charges.
    • Not sending Business Investment Zone (BIZ) charges for the next 3 months.
    • Payment schemes (such as suspension of payments), including for overdue taxes.
    • As of 23 March the late payment interest for all tax debts is temporarily lowered to 0.01% (was 4%).
    • The collection of outstanding debts will be eased; this means that any seizure orders will be suspended.

    Would like to make use of a payment scheme? Or do you have questions about the measures? You can contact the Municipal Tax Department. It is available at tel. (070) 353 38 20 (Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 16.00 hrs.) or by email at invordering.gbd@denhaag.nl.

    Do you rent municipal property? The municipality offers tenants the option of paying their rent later. You can contact your collection manager. You will find this person’s contact information on your rental invoice. The municipality encourages the same approach for owners of private property.

    • The municipality has a flexible attitude to performance agreements with event organisers who have received a grant or sponsor contribution from the scheme for Large-Scale Public Events or the Promotion Fund for Small-Scale Public Events. A framework for action (in Dutch) has been established in order to accommodate event organisers in The Hague during the corona crisis.
    • Procuring more locally and socially where (legally) possible.
    • Temporary focus on vulnerable sectors in order to prevent, wherever possible, a relapse into social assistance.
    • The possibility to increase efforts to make up for lost sales, e.g. temporarily increasing marketing.

Steps after reopening businesses

Per 1 July: 1.5 metres apart remains the norm

On 24 June the Dutch cabinet announced the new rules which will take effect as of 1 July. The Netherlands will start a new phase and will move from an intelligent lockdown to giving others enough space. A distinction will be made between general rules for indoors and general rules for outdoors. Look at the overview of all rules for everybody.

    • Stay 1.5 metres away from others.
    • The maximum number of people in one space is limited to 100 (not counting staff).
    • No maximum number of people applies if they have their own seat, have made reservations and have undergone a pre-entry health check. This applies to cinemas, cafés, restaurants, theatres, weddings and funerals.
    • In shops, museums, libraries and other settings where visitors move through the space, the rule is that people must stay 1.5 metres apart. It is up to the locations to make sure people follow this rule. No maximum number of people applies here.
    • Dance clubs and nightclubs will remain closed until 1 September.
    • There are special rules for choirs.
      • Stay 1.5 metres away from others.
      • No more than 250 people (not counting staff) can be present.
      • Guests must have their own seat at catering establishments.
      • No maximum number of people applies if they have their own seat, have made reservations and have undergone a pre-entry health check.
      • At zoos, theme parks and other outdoor locations where people move through the space, the rule is that people must stay 1.5 metres apart. It is up to the locations to make sure people follow this rule. No maximum number of people applies here.
    • If you would like to organise an event, you can reapply for an event permit or report the event again. Due to the coronavirus there are a number of rules which apply to events. Event organisers are responsible for applying the measures of the Dutch government and monitoring compliance with measures. You can find more information on the website of the RIVM.

      The general guiding principles by the RIVM will remain in force and the same rules apply to indoor and outdoor activities.

    • For shared forms of transport (such as taxis, passenger vans and coaches) passengers must reserve and must undergo a pre-travel health check. Non-medical face masks must also be worn.
      • All indoor and outdoor sports are permitted again. Normal rules of engagement are in effect for all age groups. However, people 18 years and older must stay 1.5 metres apart from each other before and after engaging in sports activities, for example in the changing rooms and canteens.
      • Canteens are allowed to reopen.
      • Shouting and chanting are not permitted along the sidelines.
      • Look for more information on the page Coronavirus: informatie voor sportaanbieders (in Dutch).
    • Dance clubs and nightclubs will remain closed until 1 September. If the situation allows it and the virus remains under control, dance clubs and nightclubs can open again. The situation will be reviewed around 1 September.

    Reopening of restaurants, cafes and beach restaurants as of 1 June

    Catering establishments are open again as of 1 June. Below you can read about what you should keep in mind.

    Possibility to expand outdoor seating at hotels, restaurants and cafes

    • Yes, based on your current outdoor seating permit, you are allowed to temporarily extend your terrace by a maximum of 25%. You don't have to apply for a permit or report this. However, there are some conditions.

    • You are allowed to put tables, chairs and parasols that are not secured to the floor on the terrace. You are also allowed to set up a distribution point. The distribution point must be set up on the terrace for which you have a permit or which was extended with permission. The distribution point must be mobile and taken inside after closing time.

    • Yes, you can report a pavement terrace to the municipality. The normal policy regulations for terraces that do not require a permit (RIS304800). Making a report is free of charge.

    • You can submit an application for a temporary terrace near your establishment. You can do this individually as catering establishment operator or together with other catering establishment operators. Send an e-mail with your contact details to terrassenbeleid@denhaag.nl. You will then receive an intake form with a number of questions and conditions that need to be satisfied. For instance, we will ask for a site plan and an account of how you consulted the neighbouring premises.

      This application is cost-free.

      The municipality processes applications for new terraces within 3 working days. Applications are assessed for i.a. public nuisance, safety, accessibility and traffic safety. No rights may be derived from the approval of your application.

    • As from 11 May, sports facilities may resume outdoor training. However, changing rooms and canteens must remain closed. Sports halls, squash courts and other indoor sports facilities must remain closed until further notice. Until such time, no terraces may be opened and no food or drink may be served.

      According to the protocol for opening catering establishments, the canteens/terraces of individual catering establishment operators that can be accessed by people at large (i.e. not just the members and spectators/associates of a club) may reopen on 1 June.

      You can find more information on the website of the Dutch government (in Dutch).

    • As of 1 June cultural organisations may receive visitors again subject to certain conditions. If your cultural organisation has an operating permit, you may, based on your current terrace permit, temporarily extend your terrace by a maximum of 25%. You don't have to apply for a permit or report this. However, there are some conditions.

    • The municipality, the police and the municipal enforcement officers supervise compliance with the regulations. Entrepreneurs are responsible for properly consulting local residents and other entrepreneurs who might be inconvenienced.

    • With regard to new applications, i.e. terraces that were opened within the context of the temporary broadening of the permit, parasols are allowed, provided they are not secured to the floor. Party tents and other covers are not allowed.

      • A catering establishment operator may extend a terrace that requires a permit and/or a terrace along the outside wall of the establishment that does not require a permit by a maximum of 25%.
      • This should not impede essential traffic: mainly, pedestrians and cyclists. In any case, access for emergency services, public transport and loading and unloading must be guaranteed; there should always be sufficient safe, free space for these.
      • We ask entrepreneurs who do not have a terrace permit and do not qualify for a terrace along the outer wall of their establishment that does not require a permit but who do see possibilities for a terrace near their establishment to submit a proposal. The municipality will check as soon as possible whether these proposals satisfy the conditions of safety, accessibility and traffic safety referred to in this letter.
      • If there are no other options, the terrace may also be extended to a parking space in an area where the permitted maximum speed is 30 km/h. Entrepreneurs and residents must reach agreement about this. If there are conflicts or insufficient parking spaces, we will not make parking spaces available for the purpose of extending terraces.
      • If several catering establishment operators want to extend their terrace to the same area, they must coordinate this amongst themselves. They could opt to use the area in turns. In the latter case, they will always be jointly responsible.
      • If several catering establishment operators want to use a public area as a terrace, we ask them to submit a joint proposal that has been coordinated with local residents and other entrepreneurs.
      • The use of the pavement along the outside wall of the property of third parties is subject to their consent. Residents and entrepreneurs must resolve this amongst themselves.
      • No terraces may be opened in green spaces or public gardens.
      • This provisional measure runs until 1 September but may be extended until 1 November (end of the terrace season).
      • No rights may be derived from a temporary broadening. If circumstances change (e.g. overcrowding) or their use provokes conflicts, the municipality can order the entrepreneurs to reduce the terrace to the size allowed by their permit. This could happen if the 1.5-metre distance rule cannot be complied with or if other (traffic) safety issues come into play.
      • The municipality only takes enforcement measures in case of excesses (not enough room in the street to comply with the 1.5-metre rule and traffic safety) and conflicting interests.
      • It is possible to set up a mobile distribution point on a terrace. The following conditions apply: The distribution point must be set up on the terrace for which the entrepreneur has a permit or which was extended with permission and the distribution point must be mobile and taken inside after closing time.

    Outdoor seating beach restaurants

    • Yes, that is possible. The implementation of the new beach policy enables you to place small objects that do not require a permit (e.g. lounge beds, play equipment) on the beach. This area borders on the seaward side of your pavilion and on the side of a number of other pavilions. The beach section must be 10 metres deep and as wide as the section used. This section may be used from 1 June to 1 September to extend the terrace.
    • The municipality, the police and the municipal enforcement officers supervise compliance with the regulations. Entrepreneurs are responsible for properly consulting other entrepreneurs or local residents who might be inconvenienced.

    General questions on outdoor seating

    • The guidelines drawn up by the Dutch government. The guidelines are outlined on the website of the Dutch government (in Dutch) under ‘horeca’.
    • If you have specific questions regarding the terrace, you can send an email to  terrassenbeleid@denhaag.nl. If you have other questions, you can contact the municipal Local Business Counter. The Local Business Counter can be contacted from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs. on tel. 070 353 60 04 or by sending an email to ondernemersportaal@denhaag.nl.
    • Both residents and entrepreneurs can make a complaint to the Customer Contact Centre.

    Frequently asked questions about restaurants, cafes and beach restaurants

    • The police and the municipal enforcement officers.
    • The regulations for catering establishments laid down in the operating permit will remain in force. This also applies to the opening hours.
    • A catering establishment is allowed to make deliveries and/or organise takeaways if this was specified on its application for an operating permit. This is currently not the focus of supervision and enforcement. The following rules apply to takeaways:

      • No more than 3 people on the site or at the takeaway counter.
      • Compliance with the 1.5-metre distance rule.
      • Food and drinks may not be consumed on site; they must be consumed elsewhere.

      Prevent people from sitting down by closing off the terrace and stacking tables and chairs.

    • You will find the measures from the GGD Haaglanden and GHOR Haaglanden at Haaglandenveilig.nl under the question Hoe gaan wij om met de heropening van locaties met gasten? (in Dutch).

      Layout of shopping streets

      • The municipality, together with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial associations, are trying to find out which measures can be taken in the weeks ahead to give shoppers a safe and pleasant shopping experience.

        It is quite a challenge to guarantee a distance of 1.5 metres in narrow shopping streets. This mainly applies to the shopping streets in the centre (e.g. Spuistraat, Vlamingstraat and Venestraat). To enable visitors to also shop in these streets, dividing lines will soon be applied. Visitors are expected to keep to the right and to comply with the 1.5-metre distance rule. This will be made clear by means of notices and signs in the street.

      • Businesses are responsible for monitoring the maximum number of visitors. They must also ensure that waiting visitors comply with the 1.5-metre distance rule. Many shops have already taken appropriate measures for this, such as lines or circles on the street. Businesses and the municipality are jointly responsible for ‘hospitality’. Uniform measures will help to bring about the desired behavioural change and to create an alluring city where visitors feel welcome and at home.
      • The municipality asks visitors to avoid crowds as much as possible and to always comply with the 1.5-metre distance rule. We expect residents and visitors to behave responsibly. However, the municipality may intervene in cases of overcrowding.
      • The municipality will monitor the development of foot traffic in other shopping streets and areas. If they think measures need to be taken, business associations and business investment zones can call on the municipality.
      • The municipality’s Local Business Counter can be contacted from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs. Telephone number (070) 353 60 04 and via ondernemersportaal@denhaag.nl.

      Other and general information

      Information for landlords and tenants of catering establishments 

      The Hague chapter of the KHN and the large landlords of catering establishments in The Hague are asking tenants and landlords to talk to one another about the rent. A step-by-step plan is available to help them. More information can be found on the website of KHN (in Dutch).

      Do you have other questions or do you need more information? Look at one of the following topics.

        • The municipality’s Local Business Counter (Ondernemersportaal) can be reached by telephone from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs. Tel. (070) 353 60 04 and at ondernemersportaal@denhaag.nl. For the most recent updates follow the Ondernemersportaal on Twitter or subscribe to the Den Haag Onderneemt newsletter.
        • Do you have people working for you through the Den Haag Werkt programme? And do you have any questions about the coronavirus? Look at the page Coronavirus: informatie voor werkgevers over Den Haag Werkt (in Dutch). Do you not see your question? Then you can call Den Haag Werkt at tel. (070) 752 77 50 or send an email to denhaagwerkt@denhaag.nl.
        • Corona journal: the corona crisis and the measures to contain the spread of the virus are having a huge impact on The Hague's local economy and employment market. The municipality is keeping a corona journal to provide insight into the (possible) economic impact on the local economy. It will use available research and figures. The journal will be updated regularly and you can find the details on the website Den Haag in Cijfers.
        • You can read about good initiatives and creative solutions during the corona crisis by and for businesses and entrepreneurial collectives in The Hague on denhaag.com as well as the Haags Retailpunt (HRP). The Haags Retailpunt regularly organises informative webinars. Follow the HRP via Facebook.
        • Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN): Go to khn.nl/corona for an overview of all information regarding the coronavirus or contact the KHN at corona@khn.nl or tel. (0348) 48 94 89 (during office hours) or tel. (0348) 48 94 11 (weekends). To be able to inform hospitality businesses in The Hague quickly, KHN The Hague has a mobile number which they can use to send text messages. If you would like to be informed in this way, you can register by sending a text message to tel. 06 - 13 82 25 38.
        • Corona help desk: MKB-Nederland, VNO-NCW and PZO-ZZP have opened a corona help desk together with the Chamber of Commerce for businesses with questions. This desk will provide information which can help you with questions about which schemes are available, how you should act in certain cases and what you are recommended to do now. The desk can also be reached by telephone at tel. 0800 - 2117 (on weekdays between 8.30 and 17.00 hrs.). Please note: the telephone lines are very busy. You can also find many answers on the website of the KVK (Chamber of Commerce).
        • Ondernemersplein: the website of the Ondernemersplein is also a good reference on everything businesses will need to take into consideration during the corona crisis.

      • For questions about conducting business internationally and the coronavirus, you can contact the RVO. Call the RVO on tel. (088) 042 42 42 (during office hours) or send an email to klantcontact@rvo.nl.
      • Look at Coronavirus (English page) for municipal information.

        Would you like to inform non-Dutch speakers about the coronavirus? Communication tools are available for this. These include measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the telephone number and website where people can get answers about the virus. The information is available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Papiamento, Papiamentu, Polish and Turkish. You can download the communication tools from the website of the Dutch government.

      Also see: denhaag.nl/coronavirus

      Published: 9 June 2020Modified: 30 July 2020