Eight questions about coronavirus and education

Information from Rijksoverheid

1. Should schools and universities close?

No, they should not. When an infection occurs in the Netherlands, the local GGD (Public Health Service) division will issue information on the consequences and measures that need to be put in place for that specific region or location.

2. Can my children return to school after a skiing vacation?

Naturally, children can return to school. Should your child show signs of illness, act as you normally would. Children infected in the Netherlands by the flu or the common cold need not be worried they may have contracted the new coronavirus. Especially not if they have not recently visited certain regions in Northern Italy. Please consult the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) website for the most up-to-date list of infected areas. There is an infinitely higher likelihood of contracting the flu or common cold. If you are concerned, contact your general practitioner or see the RIVM website if you have questions regarding your health. Should a person showing symptoms report to the doctor, and the doctor suspect a possible infection with the new coronavirus, a protocol is activated.

3. Should my educational facility take measures? And if so: what are they?

This is not necessary. All (local) GGD departments and hospitals are informed of the protocols and measures that must be taken in case of infection.

4. Can school trips and exchange programmes continue as planned in the coming months?

Planned school trips and exchanges can continue as planned, depending on the region involved. See travel advices (Dutch) or go to rijksoverheid website (Dutch) for the latest travel advice.

5. Where can I find the most up-to-date information from your school or university?

The most up-to-date information is provided on the RIVM website. Your local GGD office is available to answer any questions you may have.

6. Should students currently residing abroad for an internship or study experience return to the Netherlands?

This decision must be taken by the student involved, if needed with help from the school or university. Whether or not to return is mostly dependent on where the student is currently situated. Students residing in infected areas must adhere to local safety measures. Travel may be prohibited. If this is not the case, students may wish to consider returning to the Netherlands.

7. Where can Dutch students abroad find help?

1.     Dutch students in foreign countries should first and foremost reach out to their travel insurance if they have questions. The local Dutch embassy is also available day and night on the following number:  +31 247 247 247. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be reached through WhatsApp at +31 682 387 796 or on Twitter:  @24/7BZ.

8. Are international students from infected areas permitted to study or do internships in the Netherlands?

? Students in infected regions must adhere to local safety measures. A travel restriction may apply. Furthermore, the decision to go forward with a planned internship or study is one to be made by the employer or educational facility, per individual case. The local health and safety situation should be taken into consideration. You may contact the RIVM for advice, but this institute is unable to make decisions on specific cases. Should students and interns travel to the Netherlands, up-to-date information is essential. Testing individuals upon arrival in the Netherlands is pointless, but reporting a return to the GGD authorities is strongly advised. Pre-emptive testing when returning from an infected area does not provide certainty: should a person carry the virus, its presence in the human body will be minimal in the early stages, this is why tests are only carried out once symptoms are apparent.