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6 July 2020

Safely visiting city centres in South Limburg

Many public areas have been organized to ensure that people can keep 1.5 metres apart from each other. We are all responsible for the safe use of these public areas. To ensure safe visits to city centres in South Limburg, we are publishing tips throughout the country and in a number of municipalities.  

General rules of conduct to ensure safe shopping

  • Keep 1.5 metres apart from each other;
  • Keep right when walking through the city and follow both the signs and instructions; Municipalities will have implemented changes resulting in narrow streets functioning as one-way streets if they become too crowded. These streets can be identified thanks to the signage;
  • Wash your hands often;
  • Avoid crowded areas, and return at a later time. The streets are usually more crowded on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, so try to schedule your visit on a weekday;
  • The Dutch government is the source for current information on measures that apply as of 1 July.

Safely navigating Maastricht

The Maastricht Bereikbaar website explains in detail all measures that have been taken in the city centre to ensure that your visit to the city centre is as safe as possible. Such measures include but are not limited to: one-way streets for pedestrians, the closure of roads to motorized traffic and cyclists, and granting more space to hotel and catering establishments. The Municipality of Maastricht is in charge of all measures.

Information for pedestrians and cyclists at a glance

The Smart Map on the Maastricht Bereikbaar website contains lots of information on safely navigating Maastricht. If you are coming by bicycle, then view the map layer for cyclists to see where you can park your bicycle. Make sure that pedestrians do not ‘trip’ over bicycles parked on the streets.

If you click on the pedestrian icon, you will see which streets have been designated as one-way streets for pedestrians or where cyclists must dismount. You can enable or disable map layers by selecting or deselecting each layer.

Visiting the city centres of Sittard-Geleen

We wish to remind people visiting the city centres of Sittard-Geleen of the extra rules of conduct to ensure a safe visit. The yellow lines on the streets to indicate the walking routes also remind pedestrians to keep right where possible. Furthermore, mobile road signs displaying instructions will be deployed.

  • The following streets have been designated as one-way streets: Kerkepad, Gats, Limbrichterstraat from Local’s in the direction of Markt square, Molenbeekstraat on the side of Ich en Dich, Molenbeekstraat from Helstraat junction to Limbrichterstraat, and Gruizenstraat. View the aerial photo complete with marked streets. These streets function as one-way streets on weekend days, holidays, market days when the city centre of Sittard is crowded, making it being difficult for people to maintain 1.5 metres distance. On weekdays, the streets are not as crowded and pedestrians can use the streets in both directions.
  • Waiting queue stickers have been attached to windows of a number of shops and hotel and catering establishments.
  • At dozens of locations in Sittard and in multiple locations in Geleen, disinfection stands have been installed so that people can clean their hands.
  • During the Saturday market in Geleen and on busy days, hosts and hostesses will be in the city centre to remind people to maintain 1.5-metres distance.
  • To optimally spread the number of visitors going to the shopping area in Sittard, a loyalty card will be introduced. For this purpose, the city centre of Sittard has been divided into four neighbourhoods. For each purchase a visitor makes in participating shops in the different neighbourhoods, they can receive a sticker to put on their loyalty card. Visitors can then hand in a full loyalty card (with a sticker from each of the four neighbourhoods) to one of the participating shops for the chance to receive a gift package containing products sourced from the city. This campaign is designed and executed in its entirety by Centrummanagement (city-centre management) Sittard, visit www.sittardgenietenvoorop.nl (only available in Dutch) for more information on this campaign.
  • Hotel and catering establishments reopened on 1 June. In the city centre of Geleen, more space was created in Raadhuisstraat and on Markt square for terraces. Hotel and catering establishments that are not in the city centre are allowed to put out their regular number of terrace chairs, as long as doing so permits terrace users and passers-by to maintain 1.5 metres distance.
  • If you cycle to the city centre, always park your bicycle in one of the bicycle-parking facilities or bicycle racks. In Sittard, you can park your bicycle for free in the guarded bicycle-parking facility at Tempelplein square or on Paardenstraat. In Geleen, you can park your bicycle in the guarded bicycle-parking facilities on Elisabethstraat.

The Sittard-Geleen municipality coordinates all local measures. For more information, view the up-to-date coronavirus news page on the website of the Sittard-Geleen municipality.

Visiting the city centre of Heerlen

To ensure visitors and hotel and catering establishments have a safe amount of space, extra measures have been implemented in the city centre of Heerlen.

  • Keep right in crowded shopping streets.
  • One-way walking routes have been marked on the Promenade. The walking lanes are too narrow for two-way traffic, so this measure is particularly important on market days due to crowding.
  • As of 1 June, the free sheltered bicycle parking facility in Akerstraat reopened. So park your bicycle here or in one of the other bicycle racks in the city, if you are coming by bicycle.
  • We strongly advise against cycling through the shopping area during this coronavirus crisis. We therefore recommend that cyclists dismount and continue on foot.
  • To ensure that it is safe for people to go shopping, business owners have also implemented measures in and in front of their shops. For example, space has been allocated for queues.
  • Extra terraces have been created on Pancratiusplein square.

The municipality of Heerlen coordinates all local measures. Please visit www.heerlen.nl/corona.html for more information on the coronavirus measures.

Personal responsibility

The Dutch government's approach to dealing with the coronavirus crisis is to contain the virus as much as possible to protect vulnerable people and to ensure that the healthcare institutions are not overwhelmed. Thankfully, the measures are being gradually relaxed. However, the coronavirus remains dangerous – especially to the elderly and people in vulnerable groups. We all need to act responsibly to prevent the spread of the virus, now more than ever. So make sure you avoid crowds and always maintain 1.5-metres distance from other people. If you are suffering from cold-like symptoms or a fever, then stay at home!

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