The Dutch Safety Board, partly due to a request from the government to evaluate the Netherlands’ crisis response, started its investigation into the coronavirus crisis response on 5 May 2020. The results of the investigation will be published across several sub-reports. The first of these sub-reports, on the first period of the coronavirus crisis, from March 2020 to September 2020, was published on 16 February 2022. The second part was published on 12 October 2022. This sub-investigation will examine the crisis response between September 2020 and July 2021. A third investigation is also underway.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a protracted international crisis. What started as a health crisis rapidly expanded to become a crisis encompassing the whole of society, unprecedented in its scale in the post-war Netherlands. The first reports of a virus outbreak in China appeared in late 2019. On 27 February 2020, the first patient tested positive for the coronavirus in the Netherlands. In response, the government launched a series of measures to tackle the crisis, to mitigate the risks and to develop new knowledge. At the same time, citizens had to adapt to the reality of the virus and its consequences for society.
The primary objective of all the sub-investigations is to reconstruct the events and actions taken during the coronavirus crisis with a view to understanding – and where possible explaining – why things happened in the way they did. In the end, the goal is to learn lessons for the Netherlands’ crisis response now and in the future.
Read more about the three sub-reports below.