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.

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Face mask required as of 1 December

To curb the spread of the coronavirus it became compulsory to wear a face mask in shops, museums, restaurants and theatres as of 1 December. For contact-based professions both the customer as well as the professional, such as the hairdresser or the driving instructor needs to wear a face mask. Wearing a face mask was already compulsory in public transport but this rule now extends to stations and bus and tram stops. The face mask requirement applies to everyone 13 years and older. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch government.

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Partial lockdown to continue as of 19 November

The number of coronavirus infections is falling. Therefore the Dutch government has decided to keep the partial lockdown in place. This means that following a 2-week closure, museums, theatres, swimming pools and amusement parks may reopen. Group sports lessons may resume. People may receive a maximum of 3 visitors at their homes each day.

For a complete overview of all measures go to the website of the Dutch government.

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

New measures for catering establishments, shops and events as of 14 October

For a complete overview of all measures go to the website of the Dutch government.

You can find the emergency decree on the website of the Haaglanden security region.

Catering establishments

  • All establishments serving food and drinks must be closed as of Wednesday, 14 October at 22.00 hrs. Takeaway and delivery are allowed.
  • Restaurants and bars may only offer takeaway or delivery services. The following rules apply:

    • Food and drink may not be consumed on the premises but may be taken away.
    • Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres.
    • Prevent people from siting on the terrace by closing it off and stacking chairs and tables so that it is not possible to stay on the terrace.
    • Restaurants may not offer takeaway or deliveries between 1.00 and 7.00 hrs. and they are not permitted to sell any alcohol after 20.00 hrs.
    • If you offer home delivery, you deliver to people’s front door and make sure to maintain a safe (1.5 metres) distance.
  • Outdoor terraces must also remain closed.
  • Catering services in shops, museums and theatres must also close.  
  • Catering services in a healthcare facility may not open to visitors.
  • Coffee shops must be completely closed. They may only provide a takeaway service and must close by 20.00. No soft drugs may be sold between 20.00 and 7.00 hrs.
  • Hotels may keep their catering facilities open for hotel guests. No alcohol may be served after 20.00 hrs. The hotel may stay open 24 hours a day.

Stores

    • All shops must close no later than 20.00 hrs., with the exception of supermarkets and other food stores. Night stores may also stay open.
    • Sale of alcohol is prohibited between 20.00 and 7.00 hrs.
    • The government strongly advises wearing face masks indoors. Shops can make it obligatory for customers to wear face masks by changing their rules and refusing entrance to customers who do not have a face mask.
    • Shop managers must have a door policy to spread the flow of visitors, maintain the 1.5 metre distance in the store and ensure that customers can maintain the 1.5 metre distance when queuing up outside the store.
    • Supermarkets are obliged to offer special opening hours 2 times a day for seniors and vulnerable people. This is being done in consultation with each sector organisation.
  • These businesses may stay open after 20.00 hrs. In addition contact-based professions are obliged to register their clients’ contact details and wear a face mask.
  • The emergency decree defines the use of a face mask as: an item designed in any case to fully cover the mouth and nose in order to combat the spread of viruses and other germs as much as possible.
  • People are allowed to come together in groups of no more than 4 people. More than 1 groups is allowed if they keep a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. The groups are not allowed to mix.  
  • You can find the answer to this question on the website of the Dutch government.

Events and party locations

  • A maximum of 30 people (excluding staff) is permitted at indoor seated venues, where people mainly stay in 1 place.
  • Events are banned with the exception of:

    • Food markets
    • Trade fairs and conferences (for a maximum of 30 people per indoor space)
    • Cinemas and theatres
    • Matches or competitions: you can read all of the rules on the website of the Dutch government
    • Demonstrations, gatherings and meetings as referred to in the Public Assemblies Act
  • The same rules are in effect for party locations (indoors and outdoors) as for catering establishments. These will be closed as of 14 October 2020 at 22.00 hrs.
  • Yes, this is allowed if it complies with the other requirements, including the hygiene measures. You can find the protocols for businesses on the website of the Dutch government.
  • This is not permitted because locations with a combined function must close the section that serves food and drinks.

Financial support for businesses

Overview of financial measures

The coronavirus is hitting businesses hard. The government has therefore decided to provide support to businesses through financial schemes. 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:

  • 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:
  • On 27 October 2020 the Dutch government presented additions to the support and recovery package for businesses hit hard by the recent measures. For example for the hospitality sector and transport companies. You can find more information on the website of the Dutch government.

Corona measures for businesses as of 1 October 2020

Support and recovery package

The Dutch cabinet presented an extended support and recovery package to the House of Representatives. You can read the full details on the website of the Dutch government.

This 3rd support package consists of 3 cornerstones. 1 of the 3 cornerstones is the continuation of financial support: the NOW, Tozo and TVL will be extended.

  •  This scheme, which provides a contribution towards wage costs, is being extended by 9 months. Over 3 phases of 3 months each, the assistance provided will gradually be reduced. This will give businesses and employees time and scope to adapt to changing circumstances. You can find information on the website of the Dutch government about the conditions and changes for NOW.
  • This scheme is being extended by 6 months to 1 April 2021. You can find information on the website of the Dutch government about the conditions and changes for Tozo. From 1 January 2021 municipalities will provide extra services to the self-employed, including retraining and help upgrading existing skills and exploring new careers.

    Municipalities are carrying out the Tozo. Look for new information on how the Municipality of The Hague will carry out Tozo 3 on the page www.denhaag.nl/Tozo. Or subscribe to the Den Haag Onderneemt newsletter.

    You can also call tel. (070) 353 75 00.

  • This tax-free grant scheme will be extended to 30 June 2021. The maximum amount will be increased to €90,000 per business per 3-month period. Over 3 phases of 3 months each, the assistance provided will gradually be reduced. This will give businesses and employees time and scope to adapt to changing circumstances. You can find information on the website of the Dutch government about the conditions and changes for TVL.
  • The schemes providing for additional, extended and more accessible credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ensure sufficient liquidity will continue to be available after 1 October 2020. The website of the Dutch government has more information about the conditions and changes in full: BMKBGO-C and KKC.
  • If businesses applied for and were granted a special tax payment extension before 1 October 2020, they can apply for an extra payment extension until 31 December 2020. However, businesses should not face payment difficulties and should avoid extra costs. Businesses will have 36 months in which to pay the taxes they were granted the extension for, starting (at the latest) on 1 July 2021. On the Tax and Customs Administration website, you will find more information on the special payment extension (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). You can also phone tel. (070) 353 75 00.

  • 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 support for businesses

Support for retailers association with promotion budget

The Municipality of The Hague is making a maximum of € 2,000 available for each shopping area. Retailers associations can use these funds to focus extra attention on local businesses and their wares/services. For more information about this programme and to apply for funds, contact the Haags Retailpunt.

Social and economic recovery plan 29 October

The corona crisis is affecting the entire city. For this reason The Hague Municipal Executive has made € 133 million available for a social and economic recovery plan. Part of the plan also includes a support package for businesses which focuses on strengthening the business climate and reinforcing the tourism sector.

    • Municipal services through the Local Business Counter, the Haags Retailpunt and business contact officers in vulnerable districts are being improved.
    • Entrepreneurs are receiving support for digitising their services and business processes and queries about business locations, and the municipality is contributing to innovations in digitisation and cybersecurity.
    • The municipality is also providing support for issues relating to the retraining of employees and offering coaching for new entrepreneurs in The Hague Zuidwest.
    • Employment in health care and the manufacturing industry is being promoted, as well as the business climate in the construction industry.
    • Activities and employment in health care (including in Zuidwest) are being stimulated through a new care innovation programme. This includes creating more space for new and growing businesses, providing financing and innovation for health care entrepreneurs and helping people find a job in the health care sector.
    • Knowledge about, for example, international business or retraining employees is made available to entrepreneurs.
    • Investments are being made in the knowledge economy. The municipality wants to help innovation in the economy by stimulating knowledge, technology and innovation. A key role will also be played by innovation centres and supporters such as YES!Delft and all the many activities involved in IT/tech and security.
  • The municipality wants to strengthen the visitor economy by keeping the downtown area attractive and welcoming. This is being achieved by:

    • Together with partners in the city, the municipality is looking for new ways to use vacant buildings.
    • Entrepreneurs are getting financial support to improve facades and lighting to give the downtown area more appeal in the winter too.
    • Together with tourism partners, the municipality will ensure that Dutch and foreign visitors will receive a warm and safe welcome, once they are able to travel again.
    • Working with partners, the municipality is promoting new forms of public events that contribute to healthy and future-oriented business models, employment, hospitality and attractiveness in the city.
    • A marketing campaign will be launched under the motto: plenty of space and pandemic-proof. Through this campaign, the various characteristic city centres are being highlighted and visitors are more spread out.
    • Together with cultural institutions and other organisations, the municipality is working to speed up the development and strengthening of the Museum Quarter. In selling the former United States Embassy, a new owner and user are being sought to contribute to this.

Support package for The Hague 20 March

The municipality has put together a local support package to help businesses and employees get through the crisis. These measures come on top of the Dutch government’s support package. The measures consist of:

  • Suspension of payment of a number of municipal taxes (tourist tax and property tax). In addition businesses can arrange payment schemes with the Municipal Tax Department, including for overdue taxes.
  • The Business Investment Zone (BIZ) charges will not be sent the coming 3 months.
  • The late payment interest for all tax debts: as of 23 March 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 will facilitate the delivery services responsible for supplying the shops where possible with parking, loading and unloading.
  • The municipality has a flexible attitude to performance agreements with organisers of events and conferences which have received a subsidy from the municipality but have to cancel their events due to the coronavirus.
  • The municipality will procure more locally and socially where possible.
  • Because each company has its own unique challenge, the municipality will make extra use of account management to help you more quickly. Staff of the Local Business Counter will be happy to assist you.

Local measures for catering establishments

Possibility to expand outdoor seating at hotels, restaurants and cafes until 1 November

The emergency decree of 14 October 2020 is now in effect. This means that all catering establishments must be closed. Outdoor seating is also not allowed.

  • 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 licence, 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.

    • The temporary situation was in effect until 1 September and has now been extended until 1 November (end of the terrace season). Read more in the official documents (RIS305858).
    • 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.
    • 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.

Possibility of extending terraces (hotels, restaurants and cafés) from 1 November 2020 to 1 May 2021

Earlier this year the Municipality of The Hague gave catering businesses more scope by allowing a 25% terrace extension. This temporary measure has been extended until 1 May 2021. Overhead terrace covers are also temporarily permitted. In this way catering businesses are given possibilities to create some additional outdoor capacity in the autumn and winter months which they lose indoors due to the corona containment measures. A maximum of 40 people applies to terraces. For further information about the regulation in the official documents, go to Terraces in winter (RIS306333).

The emergency decree of 14 October 2020 is now in effect. This means that all catering establishments must be closed. Outdoor seating is also not allowed. The procedure to apply to extend your terrace or a terrace cover remains unchanged. Applications are still being reviewed.

  • To leave the summer terrace standing in the winter you can apply for a terrace permit. The permit which will be granted is until 1 May 2021.
  • You can apply for the 25% extension via the page Apply for a terrace permit. If you place the terrace in front of a property which is not your own, you will need written permission from your neighbours. You must submit this together with your application. The permit which will be granted is valid until 1 May 2021.
  • You can apply for the 25% extension via the page Apply for a terrace permit. If you place the terrace in front of a property which is not your own, you will need written permission from your neighbours. You must submit this together with your application. The permit which will be granted is valid until 1 May 2021.
  • To leave the summer terrace standing in the winter you can apply for a terrace permit. The permit which will be granted is until 1 May 2021.
  • No, this is no longer possible after 1 November.
  • Yes, this is allowed with an all-in-one building permit. You can apply for an all-in-one building permit via the Omgevingsloket Online (OLO). To get an all-in-one building permit, the overhead cover has to meet several criteria. An application for an all-in-one building permit has to meet several criteria for submission. For information about the criteria for submission, you can send an email to ondernemersportaal@denhaag.nl.  
  • An overhead cover:
    - has to be open at 3 sides. The closed side has to be transparent.
    - is only allowed on a terrace with a terrace permit
    - may not be bigger than the terrace for which a permit has been granted
    - has to be suited to the weather conditions that can be expected in autumn and winter
    - has to be removed in time when weather conditions are expected for which the overhead cover is not suited
    - is permitted until 1 May 2021 at the latest
    - is only permitted with an all-in-one building permit
  • No, this is not allowed.

Measures for shopping streets

  • The municipality is in contact with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial associations about the measures needed to give shoppers a safe and pleasant shopping experience in the shopping areas. In a number of shopping areas, such as the city centre, dividing lines have been drawn on the pavement to separate the flow of shoppers. Signs and stickers have been placed to inform visitors about the corona rules. On busy shopping days extra hosts will be posted in the downtown area to remind visitors about the rules.
  • Shops are responsible for monitoring the maximum number of visitors in the shop and for making sure they keep a distance of 1.5 metres in the shop as well as in the queue outside the shop. These rules will be enforced.
  • The municipality asks visitors to avoid crowds as much as possible and to always comply with the 1.5-metre distance rule. We assume that residents and visitors will 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

    • 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 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. The Hague chapter of the KHN and the biggest landlords of restaurants in The Hague are asking tenants and landlords to talk to each other about the rent. A step-by-step plan has been developed to help tenants and landlords in this. More information can be found on the website of KHN.
    • 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: 19 November 2020Modified: 30 November 2020