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Het Nieuwe Instituut’s information point advises on the consequences of the current measures against Covid-19 and their impact on the international design sector.

Both regional and international events, including exhibitions, biennials and festivals, are being cancelled and museums are closing their doors. All of this has major consequences for the cultural and creative sectors. In their supporting roles, Het Nieuwe Instituut and DutchCulture are providing information on what this means for those affected. You can also contact both organisations’ advisors with your questions about the consequences of the pandemic on an international level.

Do you have questions, information or tips? Get in touch!

If your question is not included below, please contact Het Nieuwe Instituut’s information point at or DutchCulture’s Mobility Info Point at The overview below will be updated as new information becomes available.

Latest update: 20 October 2020.


International guests and partners

In order to receive the top international cultural and creative professionals, entry restrictions for this group have been relaxed as of 16 October 2020. The entry ban may be lifted for international professionals under certain conditions, whereby obligatory quarantine may be temporarily interrupted for a special initiative that is an essential addition to the Dutch cultural landscape. Only those professionals who wish to enter the Netherlands because of their demonstrable social, cultural, and economic value are eligible for this exception.

This is the case if the visit meets the following stipulations:

  • The visit concerns the activity of a cultural or creative institution that receives multi-year funding from the national government or a Dutch cultural grant for the periods 2017-20 or 2021-24,
  • Owing to their unique qualities or skills, the professional has been invited by the relevant Dutch cultural or creative institution to perform the activity and receives remuneration for doing so,
  • The physical presence and participation of the professional is necessary for the overall progress of the institution's activity in question, and
  • The income from this activity makes a substantial contribution to the financial outlook of the institution in question, demonstrating the added economic value of the professional's visit.

More information about this can be found on the government website.


  • What happens to subsidies I have received?

    Various funding bodies, including the Creative Industries Fund NL, have indicated that they will take a lenient approach in evaluating the accountability of subsidised projects. For specific information, please contact your representative at the fund in question.
    • Projects supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL

      The Creative Industries Fund NL is lenient on projects that have already been funded but are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. On this page, the Fund answers a wide range of questions about application procedures and, of course, the pandemic's impact on supported projects. 

      If a project or event that has already been funded has been relocated or indefinitely cancelled, please contact the relevant person at the Fund. You do not need to contact the Fund if there is doubt as to whether your event or project will go ahead.

    • New: Temporary Procedure for International Collaboration

      Due to the pandemic it is not possible to make an application for the Internationalization Grant Programme and the Vouchers procedure for Presentations Abroad. Both schemes are suspended until further notice and no applications can be submitted. The Temporary Procedure for International Collaboration (TPIC) is intended to replace these, and applications are possible until 30 November 2020. This procedure by the Creative Industries Fund NL supports projects that contribute to the development, promotion, and strengthening of the international position of the contemporary Dutch creative industry, focussing on new forms of international collaboration.


  • What about funding for European projects?

Creative Europe announced that the consequences for each funding scheme will be individually analysed and solutions devised to flexibly support beneficiaries during the pandemic. The website of Creative Europe Desk NL keeps you fully informed, and you can contact their advisors if you have specific questions.

Measurements for freelancers

  • I am self-employed within the design sectors. What measures are the government taking to help entrepreneurs who are at risk of getting into financial difficulties?
    • Temporary bridging measure for self-employed professionals (Tozo)

      This scheme supports independent entrepreneurs, including freelancers, with income support and business credit so that they have a better chance of continuing their work. The Tozo makes it possible to claim a provision for subsistence purposes that complements existing income up to the social minimum for the duration of March, April, and May, with retroactive effect. Independent entrepreneurs can apply online with the municipality in which they live; the total amount depends on the age and composition of the household, and the money does not have to be repaid. Further requirements to be eligible for the Tozo include that you work at least 24 hours a week (1,225 hours a year) for your own company, and that you are legally residing and registered in the Netherlands. Read all the conditions for the scheme here.

      In addition to this, entrepreneurs can also apply for a loan of up to €10,157 at 2% interest.

    • Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors COVID-19 (TOGS)

      For entrepreneurs who are directly affected by the measures taken by the government during the pandemic, a one-off grant of €4,000 will be made available. The purpose of this reimbursement is, in particular, to be able to pay fixed costs; entrepreneurs whose main activity corresponds to one of the established SBI codes are eligible.

      Some sub-sectors within the cultural fields – namely the arts, museums, galleries, and exhibitions – have already been included in this list. However, those within the creative business services sector are missing, and as a result, designers working in the fields of design, architecture, and / or industrial design are not eligible for this one-off compensation. Various funds and supporting institutions are currently discussing this with the relevant ministries, and further information will follow.

    • What are the government regulations specifically for the cultural sector?

      On 15 April the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, announced a support package specifically for the cultural sector. The 300 million scheme is in addition to previous measures and will be deployed in four ways:

      1. Increased subsidies for institutions in the basic cultural infrastructure, and institutions and festivals that are supported on a multiannual basis by the six national culture funds.

      2. Increased loan facilities from the national restauration fund for monuments.

      3. A budget for the six national culture funds (Perforning Arts Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund, Creative Industries Fund NL, Netherlands Film Fund, Dutch Foundation for Literature, and Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie) to support crucial institutions that carry the cultural infrastructure in regions and cities, such as important municipal and provincial museums, music venues, and film theatres.

      4. Increased borrowing facilities with Cultuur+Ondernemen so that crucial private parties – such as free theatre producers, commercial festivals, and art galleries – can turn to Cultuur+Ondernemen for help.

      For full information, please see the government press release.

Support package cultural sector

What does the government specifically regulate for the cultural sector?

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, announced a support package for the cultural sector on 15 April as a gesture that complements previous measures. Although it is not enough to compensate all losses, it is a good first step which, internationally, seems the most comprehensive support for the sector.

Additional funds for the design field

In addition to support for institutions, funds have been retained within this package to support creators in the design field. Almost €2 million is made available by the Creative Industries Fund NL, which uses these additional resources for creators by:

  • Increasing the budgets for the Design, Architecture, and Digital culture grants
  • Issuing an open call for the development of professional practice and cultural entrepreneurship in autumn 2020
  • Issuing an open call aimed at talent development within architecture disciplines
  • Restarting the Researching Remix programme

In addition to these funds, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is making €30 million available through Cultuur+Ondernmen (Culture+Entrepreneurship) for loans to cultural and creative organisations for the start of their new season. This start-up loan makes money available for investments in contemporary productions, programmes, projects, and products.


  • I have a contract with a foreign institution. Will I get paid and / or will my expenses be reimbursed now that the project has been cancelled?

    On 18 March, law firm Rientsma started offering free telephone consultation hours for freelancers. They are available Monday to Friday, 10.00 to 12.00 on +31 6 4256 8652.

Work abroad

  • Where can I go for help if I have work abroad and cannot go to collect them?

    In addition to the challenge of arranging transport remotely, we have received reports that some designers have received unusual invoices, leading to a suspicion that some transport companies may be capitalising on the situation. The advice is to contact the relevant organisation or the local embassy directly.

Projects abroad


  • General developments

    Public activities are prohibited until 3 April and residents are urged to stay at home. This means that all cultural activities, especially those planned for April and May, have been cancelled or postponed. It has been announced that the 2020 edition of Salone del Mobile has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will next take place from 13 to 18 April 2021. The Venice Biennale will be delayed until May 2021. The embassy and consulate are closely following the cancelled projects and are in discussion with the relevant organisations on how Dutch events in Italy can still take place at a later date.
  • Support for the sector

    On 16 March, the Italian government announced a €25 billion support package for citizens, freelancers, and businesses with specific measures in place for the cultural sector, such as tax and social security deferrals. More information can be found via this link. Nothing is yet known about compensation schemes for Dutch makers, but the embassy is ready to answer questions about this. The website of the Dutch embassy in Italy gives all the necessary telephone numbers and email addresses.


  • General developments

    The government is taking strict measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. These measures have far-reaching consequences for projects taking place in Belgium or involving Belgian designers. Click here for more information.