Could the Dutch government relax travel restrictions for high-risk areas?

Could the Dutch government relax travel restrictions for high-risk areas?

De Telegraaf has reported that, according to a source at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Dutch government is looking to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers coming from high-risk areas and countries outside of the EU. 

Strict coronavirus rules remain in place for international travel

So far, travel has already opened up significantly within the European Union, thanks to the use of the EU digital COVID-19 certificates and the CoronaCheck app. However, keeping in line with the list of safe countries put together by the European Council, strict travel restrictions remain in place for most countries outside of the bloc. 

The so-called EU white list only covers 18 destinations, such as Canada and Australia, while several other popular (high-risk) destinations continue to fall under the EU entry ban, and travellers from these areas are required to follow stricter travel rules. 

For example, anyone arriving in the Netherlands from the United Kingdom or South Africa is required to present a recent negative COVID-19 test and quarantine for at least five days upon arrival. While within the EU travellers can visit high-risk countries without testing or quarantining, travelling to destinations outside of the bloc with similar infection rates is significantly harder.

Dutch government considering adopting new travel policy

”The virus is not going away,” a spokesperson for the Ministry told De Telegraaf this week. “We understand the unrest in the travel world and are looking for a solution - the world can't stay locked, but passenger safety and Dutch public health must be guaranteed.” While the policy will likely change in the not too distant future, it is not yet known what the new system will look like. 

Indeed, some of the stricter policies have already started to change. On September 4, the government abolished the “variant countries” label for areas designated as a country with a variant of concern. Instead, all of these areas are now labelled as code orange or red, and designated as (very) high risk. Vaccinated travellers from high-risk countries such as Argentina are therefore no longer required to get tested for coronavirus before returning to the Netherlands.

Thumb: Rosanne de Vries via Shutterstock.

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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