New travel advice from May 15: More freedom to travel internationally

New travel advice from May 15: More freedom to travel internationally

As was announced by Health Minister Hugo de Jonge at the press conference on May 11, the government’s travel advice is changing from May 15. Since last year, the Dutch government has been asking everyone in the Netherlands to not travel abroad unless it is absolutely necessary. But, from Saturday, members of the public will be allowed to travel to certain “low-risk” countries.

Dutch government changes travel advice for summer 2021

From May 15, the government will issue travel advice for each individual country, coding it either green (no known risks), yellow (limited measures against coronavirus), or orange (high risk, only necessary travel) depending on the number of coronavirus infections. 

As this was announced, a number of travel agencies experienced a sudden surge in interest from potential customers who had finally been given some hope and were now looking for a holiday to book. But what does this change really mean for international travel?

Hugo de Jonge: Book at your own risk

De Jonge highlighted the fact that as more and more people around the world were vaccinated against coronavirus, more countries would be classified as okay for travel. However, he did emphasise that while travel was once again allowed, it by no mean it was entirely safe or responsible. 

“There are no guarantees,” he said, reminding the public that a country’s colour could change at any time, which could impact travel plans or mean that travellers would be required to quarantine upon arrival or upon return to the Netherlands. “Booking remains at your own risk,” De Jonge said.

Which countries will be yellow and which will be orange?

Together, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) will determine each country’s colour, and only countries with fewer than 25 coronavirus infections per 100.000 inhabitants will be given the all-clear and coded green. Yellow countries will have between 25 and 100 infections per 100.000 inhabitants, and orange countries will have over 150 infections.

Travellers returning from an orange country will be required to present a recent negative coronavirus test upon arrival in the Netherlands, and they will be expected to self isolate for 10 days.

Where can you go on holiday this summer?

De Jonge noted that while the government’s travel advice was being relaxed slightly, this didn’t necessarily mean that all countries would welcome travellers from the Netherlands. For example, the government will likely deem Iceland as safe for travel, but Iceland has classified the Netherlands as high-risk.

So where can you go? Keep an eye on the website for all the latest travel advice. A number of countries in Europe, such as France, Italy, and Spain, are expected to welcome holidaymakers this summer. Once the EU launches its COVID-19 certificate, travel within the EU will likely become much simpler.

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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