Getting settled in The Hague region during lockdown

Delivery man with groceries
Published:
08/02/2021

Getting settled in The Hague region during lockdown

Moving to a new country is a challenge in itself, but orientating yourself during a lockdown is a whole other challenge. If you are new to The Hague region, here is some essential information to help you get the necessities in order.

 

Where to find information about coronavirus in the Netherlands

Even though most of the world is in some form of lockdown, every country adopts a different set of measures. Our Coronavirus Information Centre offers links to official and trusted sources for information and support regarding coronavirus in The Hague region.

 

Upon your arrival

You must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arriving in the Netherlands. It is a good idea to have your accommodation arranged before you embark on your journey. Some short stay apartments and hotels offer food and/or grocery delivery services for travellers in quarantine. Please refer to this brochure for help and support when self-quarantining.

You can arrange to get tested for coronavirus on the 5th day after your arrival in the Netherlands (even if you do not have any symptoms). If the test shows you do not have the coronavirus, you can end your self-quarantine. You can make an advance appointment to get tested by calling the municipal health service (GGD) on 0800 1202 (or +31 850 659 063 if you’re calling from a foreign phone). You can also make an online appointment on the 5th day via coronatest.nl (you will need a “DigiD” to use this site, if you are not yet registered in the Netherlands, please call +31 850 659 063).

You should arrange all practical matters (i.e. municipal registration, residence document, opening bank account, house-hunting, etc.) after your quarantine. School visits is not possible during lockdown; please contact the schools individually to request for an alternative arrangement.

 

What is open during the lockdown

Non-essential shops are closed but supermarkets, drugstores, banks, and post offices remain open. Most local open-air markets are open in a smaller, covid-proof scale in The Hague, Delft, Rijswijk and various residential areas. Your neighbourhood bakery, butcher and grocery store also remain open. However, you are advised to stay at home and make your purchases online if you can.

 

Banking

Banks remain open during this lockdown, but bear in mind that most banks work by appointment only. To avoid a wasted trip, check if the branch you want to visit have closed or changed their opening hours. You can also consider opening an account online which some banks offer now.

Just make sure that you have a valid identification (passport or ID card), BSN (citizen service number) and proof of address (a Dutch utility bill or your rental contract in the Netherlands).

More information on banking in the Netherlands

 

Payment

PIN

PIN is the preferred mode of payment in the Netherlands. If you already have a Dutch bank account, you should have received a debit card which you can use for PIN payment. You regular credit card will not be accepted at most small merchants or supermarkets. As such, you might want to have smaller notes (less than €50) at hand if you have not gotten round to opening your Dutch bank account.

iDeal

iDeal is an easy and secure way to make online payments. Most Dutch banks work with iDeal so you can use your mobile banking app or online banking portal to make payments for your online purchases.

 

Online shopping

Fortunately, in the Netherlands, there are many online options to get everything you need. Below is a list of major online shops for all your necessities.

Groceries

Every supermarket requires a different minimum order amount and charges different delivery rates, but many offer an option to pick-up at your branch of choice for a lesser fee. Try to place an order a few days before you want it delivered as the popular slots fill-up quickly.

Some supermarkets require that you pay in advance via iDeal, and some allow you to pay upon delivery with your PINpas. If you have not set-up your local bank account, some supermarkets can also arrange an automatic debit facility that is linked to your overseas bank account. Please enquire with the individual providers.

Here are some mainstream supermarkets that offer groceries online:

 

Meal kits

If you prefer to have your meals planned out for the week, consider getting meal kits that can be delivered to you on a regular basis. These online shops tend to accept credit card and ‘pay later’ modes of payment. Here are a few meal kit delivery services operating in the Netherlands:

 

Food delivery

Although restaurants and cafes are closed, they are allowed to offer meals for take-away or delivery. Here are a few online platforms to explore:

You can also #supportyourlocals by picking up from a restaurant near you.

 

Other necessities

Most online shops do accept credit card payments. Here is a list of mainstream shops for your other necessities:

Drugstore Electronics Department store Hardware store

 

Links to health-related matters

 

If you need more information or advice to help you settle-in, please email us: internationalcentre@denhaag.nl