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.

Let op!

Step 3 in reopening plan as of 5 June 2021

The number of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is falling rapidly. And more and more people are being vaccinated. The government has therefore decided to bring forward step 3 of the reopening plan by a couple of days. This means that the maximum group size indoors and outdoors will increase to 4 people, cultural venues may reopen, large venues may open again under certain conditions and establishments serving food and drink can be open from 6.00 to 22.00 hrs. A complete overview of the measures can be found on 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.

Rules for opening terraces and shops

As of 5 June 2021 establishments serving food and drink can be open from 6.00 to 22.00 hrs. Outdoor seating areas can also be open until 22.00 hrs.

  • Outside the opening hours of the terrace no food or drinks may be sold for on-site consumption. You are advised to pack food and/or drinks so that customers can take it with them.
  • No, distribution points are not allowed on the terrace. If there are distribution points on the terrace, there is a risk that guests will remain standing on the terrace after it closes and as a result not observe the coronavirus measures. Takeout services are allowed only from the catering establishment itself.
  • You are advised to close off the terrace as far as possible outside the opening hours and, for example, to make it inaccessible by stacking the chairs and tables.
  • No. Entertainment such as live performances or showing football matches on a large screen on or around the terrace is currently not allowed.

Rules for opening non-essential shops as of 28 April

  • The shop itself is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the coronavirus rules.
  • The shop is responsible for organising the queue for visitors outside the shop. It is important that visitors can keep a distance of 1.5 metres and that the queue does not obstruct the flow of visitors in the shopping street.

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:

  • The Dutch government is planning to extend the TVL (subsidy for fixed costs) and the NOW (wage support) into the 3rd quarter of 2021. As of NOW 3 (the subsidy periods as of October 2020) the TVL will no longer count as turnover for the NOW. The Dutch government is also proposing to extend Tozo (support for self-employed professionals) and TONK (Temporary Support for Necessary Costs) into the 3rd quarter. Companies may begin later with paying off the tax debt they have accumulated due to the coronavirus crisis and they can take more time to do so. They do not have to start makig payments until 1 October 2022 and they will have 5 years to pay it off. Look for more information at business.gov.nl.
  • The financial support for businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis will be increased. The Dutch government decided that the compensation for the fixed costs for businesses will be raised from 85% to 100% of the fixed costs claimed. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch government.
  • The Dutch cabinet is extending the third set of financial support measures for businesses. The cabinet is also introducing a new scheme to help businesses that started between 1 January and 30 June 2020 and there will be a reimbursement for retail stores for unsold stock. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch government.
  • The Dutch cabinet is adding several forms of targeted financial compensation to the support and recovery package due to the more rigorous lockdown in effect since 15 December 2020. SMEs in the non-food retail sector will get a supplement for the stock they have been unable to sell. Look for more information on the website of the Dutch government.
  • The Dutch cabinet is further expanding parts of the support and recovery package for jobs and the economy. It is also abandoning its plan to cut back on the support measures. There will be an extra compensation for businesses with a significant loss of turnover, for example because they are closed due to the corona measures. Look for more information on the website of the Dutch government.
  • 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.

Applying for the schemes

There are schemes for extra financial support for which you can apply at the municipality.

  • 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. 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.

  • Many people have suffered a lower income compared to last year due to the coronavirus measures. However, their housing costs have not decreased. This can mean that you may have difficulty paying your rent or mortgage. This is why the TONK scheme was introduced. TONK stands for Temporary Support for Necessary Costs. You can find information on the conditions and how to apply for this scheme at TONK regeling aanvragen (in Dutch).

Local support for businesses

Reorientation for self-employed professionals (ZZP’ers)

Are you dependent on the Tozo benefit? From 1 January 2021 to 1 July 2021 the municipality will work with you to determine what support you need to look further into the labour market. For example coaching, advice, further training or retraining and reorientation. You can request personal reorientation assistance using the form on the page www.denhaag.nl/tozoherorientatie. Would you prefer to speak to somebody? Call the SZW customer service on (070) 353 75 00 and select Tozo. They are available from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 17.00 hrs.

Social and economic recovery plan 29 October 2020

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 2020

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 2020 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

    Expansion of terraces (hotels, restaurants and cafes)

    This year too, the municipality of The Hague wishes to give catering establishments the possibility to expand their terraces temporarily by a maximum of 25%. There are also possibilities to request a parking space terrace in residential neighbourhoods. As soon as the Dutch government relaxes the coronavirus measures and catering establishments can reopen for guests, business owners can take advantage of this regulation. Applications are already being accepted.

    • Yes, based on your current terrace permit you are allowed to temporarily expand your terrace by a maximum of 25% extra space. You do have to comply with a number of conditions.
    • Yes, you can report a pavement terrace via the website of the municipality. The normal policy regulations for permit-exempt terraces apply. There are no costs for reporting a pavement terrace. You can apply via Terras op de openbare weg plaatsen.
    • If expansion of a terrace ends up taking space in front of someone else’s façade, the application should include a statement. The directly interested parties declare that their interests are not harmed by this terrace being in front of their façade.
      • Possibilities for a parking space terrace in a main shopping structure: It is possible to place parking area terraces in shopping streets in a main shopping structure. The regular application procedure applies to this. For more information, see Terras op de openbare weg plaatsen (in Dutch). This permit is only for this summer and does not depend on the availability of parking or an investigation into consensus. If the terrace is located (partially) in front of the neighbour's façade, written consent is required from the directly interested parties.
      • Possibilities for parking space terraces at the edge or outside a main shopping structure: Catering establishments in residential neighbourhoods or at the edge of a main shopping structure can apply for 1 parking area terrace in streets with a speed limit of 30 km per hour. If the parking space terrace is located partially or entirely in front of someone else’s façade, consent must be gotten from the directly interested parties.
        You can apply for a parking space terrace at the edge or outside the main shopping structure through the page Terras op de openbare weg plaatsen (in Dutch).
      • After 1 November the parking spaces for temporary parking space terraces and the parking space terraces granted after 3 March 2020 must revert to being parking spaces again.
      • In the shopping streets where there are now parking space terraces it is not permitted to expand the terrace by 25% to an adjacent parking spot. This will lead to parking spaces being cut in half, a cluttered looking street and it will then not be clear whether cars can park there or not.

    • This regulation is valid from 1 March to 1 November 2021. The terraces will be allowed to open as soon as the government relaxes the coronavirus measures and catering establishments can reopen.
    • You can apply for an expansion of your terrace on the page Terras op de openbare weg plaatsen.
    • There are no fees for a temporary terrace permit.
    • No, this is not allowed.
      • The temporary regulation for terrace expansion is valid from 1 March to 1 November (end of terrace season).
      • Catering establishments can apply for a maximum of 25% more terrace space than allowed with the valid permit and/or 25% more of the permit-exempt terrace in front of their own façade. They can submit an application for this.
      • A catering establishment (not in the main shopping structure) can apply for a terrace in the parking area. This can be a maximum of 1 parking area. If the terrace ends up in front of the neighbours’ façade, written consent from the neighbours is required.
      • Essential traffic may not be impeded: pedestrians and cyclists have priority. There should always remain safe and sufficient accessibility for emergency service vehicles, public transport and loading/unloading. This accessibility is non-negotiable.
      • Use of space in front of the façade of third parties is subject to their consent. This consent must be included in the application.
      • No terraces may be opened in green spaces or public gardens.
      • The municipality only becomes involved in case of excesses (not enough room in the street to comply with the 1.5-metre rule and traffic safety) and conflicting interests.

    Expanding terraces on the boulevard

    The same options apply for businesses on the boulevard as for other catering establishments in the city. Sufficient space is needed on the boulevard for a walking route allowing social distancing. Space is also needed for emergency service vehicles and for loading/unloading.

    Expansion of beach restaurant terraces

    The municipality also wants to give owners of beach restaurants the possibility to operate extra terrace space. As soon as the Dutch government relaxes the coronavirus measures and catering establishments can reopen for guests, businesses can take advantage of this regulation. Applications are already being accepted.

    • The new beach policy enables you to place permit-exempt small objects (e.g. lounge beds, playground equipment) on the beach. This area borders on the sea side of your restaurant and on the side of a number of adjacent restaurants. The stretch of beach must be 10 metres deep and as wide as the operational section. This section may be used from 1 March to 1 November to expand the terrace.
    • No, that is not necessary. At the moment this space on the beach is already available to the beach restaurants. Normally speaking this part of the operational space is not allowed for regular catering use (such as a terrace). However, just like last year the Municipal Executive has decided not to enforce this condition for 2021 beach season.

    Questions or complaints about terrace expansions

    • For specific questions about the application for expanding your terrace, you can email apv-vergunningen@denhaag.nl.

      For general questions about doing business in The Hague and for advice on municipal rules, permits and procedures you can send an email to the Local Business Counter of the municipality: ondernemersportaal@denhaag.nl.

      Your email will be answered within 5 working days.

    • Residents and businesses can file a complaint with the municipality by calling tel. 14070.

    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: 16 February 2021Modified: 31 May 2021