45.7 Overall Score (up 1.7 since Aug 1st.)


  • 21 Public Health
  • 32.1 Financial
  • 88 Fact-Based
  • 21 Public Health
  • 32.1 Financial
  • 88 Fact-Based

The Netherlands’ overall policy is relatively weak, driven by its limited lockdown and restrictions, low testing levels, and minimal financial response.

Pre-COVID Conditions

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 Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Sep 1.)

Public Health Directives

The Netherlands’ 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 0
  • Public event cancellations 1
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $1.50
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 85.5
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

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 12.8%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

The Netherlands’ government is strong in this category, as it has not limited press freedom in response to COVID-19, although it has taken argued that there is no evidence for facemask effectiveness.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Sep 1

Despite the lack of a strict lockdown, the Netherlands’ rate of cases has remained comparatively low, likely impacted by its testing a wide range of the population and strong pre-pandemic capabilities, resulting in a relatively high score, although the higher death rate is notable.

  • Total deaths 6,215
  • Death rate per 100K 362.7
  • Total cases 70,596
  • Cases per 100K 4,120
  • Percent of positive tests 2.6
  • Change in positivity rates +1.2
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 11 Childcare, primary schools, and some businesses are allowed to open 17.14
2 Jun 01 More businesses (including restaurants, cafes, and cultural institutions) reopen 10.06
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 4.59
4 Aug 06 Begin compulsory Covid-19 testing at Schiphol airport and mandatory temporary closing of entertainment businesses experiencing an outbreak 23.01
5 Aug 18 Reinstate recommendation to work from home if possible, and to limit households to have no more than 6 people. 35.73

Differentiating Factors

  • 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 mandating masks, arguing there is no scientic evidence that masks prevent COVID-19. Read More
  • High public trust saw success despite few restrictions: The Dutch government did not impose a strict lockdown, keeping shops and the country's borders open. Instead, the authorities have relied on self-regulation, which appears to have worked. One survey found that 93 percent of respondents were choosing to stay home as much as possible and practicing social distancing. Read More
  • Income support contingent on staff retention: In early July, the government launched a second round of business support, reimbursing up to 90 percent of salary costs on the condition that businesses fire no more than 20 people and provide training and re-training opportunities to employees where possible. Read More
  • Human-to-animal transmission causes concerns: At least 20 mink farms have been the sites of COVID-19 outbreaks. The minks caught COVID-19 from human workers, and at least two farm workers have now contracted the virus from the minks, raising public health concerns. Mink farming will be banned in the Netherlands from 2024, but the outbreaks may lead many mink farmers to close permanently ahead of the deadline. Read More
Compared with Neighboring/Nearest Countries
  • 40.8
    Belgium 85,142
    Per 1M

    Belgium scores just above the median, with its generous income support and strong testing and contact tracing countered by limited public health directives.

  • 68.7
    Germany 243,599
    Per 1M

    Germany’s pandemic response has been praised around the world for its rapidly implemented contact tracing strategy and science-based leadership, although its public health policy declined significantly since the fall, bringing its overall score near the median; however, the data does not adequately account for Germany's contact tracing.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • 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
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • 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