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- 88 Fact-Based
The Netherlands’ overall policy is now near the median, a significant improvement from January, driven by a stronger financial response despite its low testing levels and limited lockdown.
The Netherlands scored extremely well on most categories, except for hospital beds.
- Debt/GDP ratio 52.4%
- GDP/capita $60,299
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 28.5
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 89.5
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 33.6
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)
Public Health Directives
The Netherlands’ extremely poor public health policy score was greatly impacted by the country’s limited stay-at-home policy and travel restrictions, minimal testing, and few emergency healthcare funds.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 1
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 2
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $1.50
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 298.6
- Contact tracing 2
Despite generous income support, the Netherlands has a relatively weak financial score, driven by a small stimulus package and very weak debt forbearance.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 16.7%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 1
The Netherlands’ government is strong in this category, as it has not limited press freedom in response to COVID-19, although leaders argued early on that there was no evidence for facemask effectiveness.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 1
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1
The Netherlands has a poor score for country status, driven by its very high case rate and rise in positivity rate.
- Total deaths 11,624
- Death rate per 100K 678.4
- Total cases 816,616
- Cases per 100K 47,658
- Percent of positive tests 13.6
- Change in positivity rates +4.8
|1||May 11||Childcare, primary schools, and some businesses are allowed to open||16.83|
|2||Jun 01||More businesses (including restaurants, cafes, and cultural institutions) reopen||9.19|
|3||Jul 01||More than 100 people are allowed in closed spaces; numbers at cinemas are not limited; and the travel ban from 14 EU countries is lifted||4.44|
|4||Aug 06||Begin compulsory COVID-19 testing at Schiphol airport and mandatory temporary closing of entertainment businesses experiencing an outbreak||26.81|
|5||Aug 18||Reinstate recommendation to work from home if possible, and to limit households to have no more than 6 people||43.10|
|6||Sep 28||Restaurants and bars must close by 10pm, outdoor gathering limit of 40 people, sporting events closed to the public, social gatherings in homes limited to 3 people||158.56|
|7||Oct 14||New partial lockdown: no more than 3 visitors per day in home, indoor and outdoor groups can't have more than 4 people from different households, all restaurants/bars closed (takout still allowed), retail stores close by 8pm, no alcohol sold after 8pm (and cannot have it in public in this time), coffee shops close by 8pm and only provide takeout, most events banned||387.49|
|8||Nov 04||Closed museums, theaters, cinemas, parks; limited gatherings from having more than 2 people from different households||532.01|
|9||Dec 01||Some of the stricter measures lifted, but lockdown still in place||288.68|
- Dutch lockdown to continue until February: The Netherlands, which shut down all shops and schools in mid-December for five weeks, expects the lockdown to continue until February, after the vaccination rollout is underway. Read More
- Late start for vaccinations criticized: Despite having vaccines in-country, vaccination won't start until early January in the Netherlands as the government makes final preparations, later than many other European countries, prompting harsh criticism from a former senior health official. Read More
- Government reverses course and supports masks: After a rise in cases, the Dutch government reversed its earlier views and recommended the use of facemasks in public places. Read More
- Cases surge weekly: 60 percent week-on-week increase in COVID-19 cases, but relatively low death rate (30 percent). Read More
- COVID-19 restraints rebellion thwarted: The Dutch government has charged celebrities for lack of "honesty and transparency" about the effectiveness of facemasks and the 1.5-metre social distancing rule. Read More
- Reinfection found in Netherlands: A patient in the Netherlands has been found to have been reinfected with COVID-19. Read More
- Dutch leaders continue mask aversion: Dutch officials continue to refuse to mandate masks, arguing that there is no scientific evidence that masks prevent COVID-19. Read More
Compared with Neighboring/Nearest Countries
Per 1M 19,581
Belgium has a relative strong score, with its generous income support and strong testing and contact tracing countered by limited public health directives.
Per 1M 34,145
Germany has improved its score a bit in the past few months, after a sharp decline in the fall. Its improvements in contact tracing, which are already likely underestimated in the data, and restrictions on public gatherings, have played important roles in this turnaround, although there has been a recent spike in cases, likely due to both recent restriction relaxations and vaccine rollout issues.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million