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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 April 2020.



  • 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.
    • Will I still receive funding for my project with the Creative Industries Fund NL?

      The fund is lenient toward subsidised projects that are facing the consequences of the pandemic. In principle, the postponement, adjustment or relocation of projects will be accepted – this also applies to the reimbursement of costs already incurred, if the project can no longer be carried out. If the project or event has been definitively cancelled or relocated, please contact the fund representative for the relevant grant. You do not have to contact the fund until the decision to cancel or relocate the project is confirmed.
    • What should I do about my current application to the Creative Industries Fund NL?

      The possible influence of the pandemic on the feasibility of a project will not be taken into account by the committee in assessing newly submitted applications. The applicant will be contacted if the proposal is successful.
    • What about future applications for the Grant Programme for Internationalization and voucher procedure for presentations abroad?

      The Fund tries to make a contribution to reduce the impact on the Dutch design sector.  For the time being the fund will continue to process applications for all programmes, with the exception of the Internationalization Grant Programme and the voucher procedure for presentations abroad. Both programmes have been suspended until further notice and no applications can be submitted for the time being. This measure has been taken because of the travel restrictions imposed in relation to Covid-19, as a result many projects and presentations abroad will not be able to proceed in the near future. 


  • 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.


  • 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.

Stranded abroad

  • I am currently stranded abroad. What should I do?

    Register at – a new platform by the travel industry, insurers, airlines, and the Dutch government to help stranded Dutch travellers return safely. You can read more questions about travelling back to the Netherlands here.Work abroad

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 29 August 2020. 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.