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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure NL-2020-25/1220 Updated – measures in Netherlands

COVID-19 protocol to ensure the safety of care transport

Protocol voor zorg vervoer

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 17 June 2020 – 23 March 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia)
Measure added 02 October 2020 (updated 20 June 2022)

Background information

The background for this protocol was to promote safe travel in public transport to promote the safety of transport drivers and passengers. In particular, looking at how individuals with disabilities have been supported during the COVID-19 crisis, the sector association the Royal Dutch Transport Association (KNV, consisting of enterprises in the sector of health care transport and taxis), developed a protocol for health related transport for individuals over the age of 18 and a protocol for those under the age of 18. This specifies how enterprises and workers offering health related transport (often in the context of social services) can continue to carry out their work safely so that individuals who cannot use regular public transport can remain mobile. For individuals with a disability this is an important part of general social inclusion and in some cases, in accessing employment as well.

Content of measure

Several straightforward rules about regular taxi- and care transport during COVID-19 were published by the Dutch government. According to these rules all passengers should be advised to only use the transport when absolutely necessary. These rules include keeping distance from the passenger as much as possible. Those who need assistance are expected to get a member of their household to do it, unless they are in a wheelchair in which case the professional will help them in accordance with the safety protocols. The KNV published a sector protocol to which the Dutch government refers for detailed guidance. The document contains a detailed description of what is and is not allowed, however, it is important to note that it allows for flexibility to account for certain issues. For example, if someone cannot wear a facemask due to their illness or disability they are not required to. However, in that case the driver keeps 1.5 meter distance from the person. A driver cannot accompany someone into an institution, however where necessary they may accompany them to the door. Different issues have been addressed in this manner.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

23 March 2022

From the moment the facemask requirement in public spaces and transport was cancelled, this transport protocol was also cancelled.

26 November 2021

This measure remains in place as COVID-regulations are tightening again.

Use of measure

There is not much information available on the use of this measure to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Disabled workers
Does not apply to businesses Children (minors)
People in care facilities

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


The Royal Dutch Transport Association (KNV) organizes both conventional transport in the Netherlands but also care transport. People with severe disabilities may have to use this transport to get around and are therefore heavily influenced by its functioning for their access to the employment market. During COVID-19 the KVN, together with the FNV and the CNV have set up a COVID-19 protocol that has to be used by all care transport providers.

During COVID-19 different public and private entities have been creating protocols for safety in different situations. Different government institutions such as the RIVM (The public agency for healthcare and environment) and ministries have been involved in this process, along with also social partners such as the Association for Disability Care in the Netherlands (VGN), Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV), and the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (CNV). Especially the VGN has been especially invested in writing protocols surrounding disability issues and also making sure the information is assessable in many different formats for those who due to their disability are unable to gain the information from the original protocols and reports.

Views and reactions

The social partners were the organisations to initiate this protocol with a view to maintaining a safe way of working and to be able to continue their socially important work. As this agreement was developed and implemented by the partners within a sector, it seems intuitive to assume that there is implicit agreement and support of the protocol.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q88 Social work activities without accommodation
      S - Other Service Activities S96 Other personal service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.




Eurofound (2020), COVID-19 protocol to ensure the safety of care transport, measure NL-2020-25/1220 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.