Belgium and Germany ask people from the Netherlands to stay at home

Belgium and Germany ask people from the Netherlands to stay at home

With a number of Dutch citizens and residents crossing the border in order to enjoy more freedom from COVID-19 restrictions, local German and Belgian authorities are calling on their own people to avoid travelling to the Netherlands, and asking the Dutch to stay in their own country.

Dutch cross Belgian and German borders to avoid lockdown

After Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced a hard lockdown for the Netherlands on Saturday, a number of people have turned to neighbouring countries in order to finish off their Christmas shopping and enjoy an evening meal at a restaurant with friends and family

This week, various Dutch news outlets have reported that people from the Netherlands have hopped over the border to pop to the gym or the hairdresser, or to go to the cinema. While this might be good news for businesses, authorities are concerned about what it could mean for their coronavirus infection rates.

Belgium and Germany say Dutch should "stay in their own country"

The German newspaper Bild reports that Kai Zwicker, the district administrator for Borken (a town in North Rhine-Westphalia) has asked people to avoid cross-border journeys. “I have a heartfelt request to both the Germans and the Dutch neighbours,” Zwicker says. “Please refrain from making unnecessary visits to the respective neighbouring country at the moment. The Germans should stay in their country, the Dutch in the Netherlands."

Meanwhile, over in Belgium, the governor of the city of Antwerp, Cathy Berx, has urged people from the Netherlands not to visit Belgium, warning that if they continue to border hop in order to go to a restaurant or do some shopping, Belgium will ultimately be forced to introduce harsher restrictions and potentially shut down its catering industry. “My Dutch friends should stay in their own country,” Berx told Flemish newspaper De Standaard.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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MariaV2 08:34 | 23 December 2021

Someone should tell the Dutch, and not only, government to piss off.... We are all adults, and after two years in the pandemic have the right to make our own decisions. No government should tell us what to do, how many to see, and where to go or not go. Some measurements are totally understandable, but shutting down the whole country after two years in this pandemic is inefficient, ineffective and devastating for both the people and the businesses. When the majority of the Dutch population has been doing the right things for two years straight, and more than 80% has been vaccinated, you as government do not have the f... right to put them in a hard lockdown, and strip them of their civil rights. To conclude, I want to make a statement that for two years now, the Dutch and other governments prioritise the physical over the mental health. So, dear German and Belgian government, you can piss off too, because we will not stay at home in a locked up country. We impose no risk to your country or to your business, just ask us to test and provide our vaccination certificate, and stop trying to terrorize us away.