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!

Lockdown to be extended

The number of new positive cases per day is declining and the pressure on hospitals is gradually easing. But new variants of the virus are gaining ground quickly in the Netherlands. This is cause for concern because these new variants are more infectious and can cause a new wave of infections. The Dutch government has therefore decided to extend the current lockdown. Primary schools and childcare centres will however reopen as of 8 February. And shops will be allowed to offer customers the option of collecting goods that they have ordered in advance, at pre-agreed times as of 10 February.

You can find more information 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.

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 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. 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. It was already possible to apply for the Temporary income support for independent businesses (Tozo). You will soon be able to apply for the Temporary Support for Necessary Costs (TONK).

  • 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.

  • The Dutch government is currently working on a scheme for extra financial support. You can soon apply for this TONK scheme if you:

    • have suffered a decline in income due to the corona crisis and
    • are no longer able to pay a number of necessary costs and
    • are not entitled to existing aid or other schemes within the corona support package.

    This scheme has yet to be worked out. It is not yet possible to apply for it. Read more about the TONK scheme on the website of the Dutch government.

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 sombody? 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

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.

      There are no fees for this application.

      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. The Hague advocates the use of sustainable terrace heaters and alternatives for heating on terraces. 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: 16 February 2021Modified: 16 February 2021