Public policy response to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic (the second half of 2020) in the Netherlands. Experts' report

Jacques Scheres,

Alexander Friedrich,

Leopold Curfs


In a previous report we answered a number of questions by the editors about the Dutch strategic policy in the first half year of the SARS-CoV2 crisis. In the present paper we reply to a number of additional questions of the editors about the steps put by the Dutch policy during the second half of 2020, when the SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19 pandemic developed its second wave. Especially, the awareness of an upcoming second and third epidemic waves, the specific preventive actions and measures taken by the government and the changing compliance and trust of the public in the government’s strategy are described. Actions such as the Dutch test strategy, the division of regional vs national competences, partial and complete lockdowns, and cooperation with other member states and the (or their lack) are also briefly treated. Specific temporary and structural adjustments in the public health and health care system are mentioned.

No hard conclusions or qualifications about the adequacy of the Dutch public health and health care policy are drawn. Nevertheless, in retrospect it is clear that a straightforward, focussed and highly effective strategy in this unprecedented crisis by a new and dangerous and rapidly mutating virus is a great challenge for every country. Many things go well, but many more could or should have be done better. We have to learn, also from each other.

Key words:  COVID-19, health care systems,   lockdown, Netherlands, pandemic,  public health, public policy, SARS-CoV2

Słowa kluczowe: COVID-19, Holandia, pandemia, polityka zdrowotna, system zdrowotny, SARS-CoV2 , zdrowie publiczne, health care systems, lockdown, Netherlands, pandemic, public health, public policy

Scheres J., Curf L., Dutch public health policy during the COVID-19 pandemic of the first half of 2020. Answers to questions on public health activities January-June 2020, “Zeszyty Naukowe Ochrony  Zdrowia. Zdrowie Publiczne i Zarządzanie” 2020; 18 (1): 36–45.

“Zeszyty Naukowe Ochrony Zdrowia. Zdrowie Publiczne i Zarządzanie” 2020; 18 (1), editors: S. Golinowska, M. Zabdyr-Jamróz in collaboration with M. Tambor.

 Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek,