Very few fines handed out for failing to quarantine after travelling
The Dutch government may have recently introduced mandatory quarantine for travellers returning from certain high-risk countries, but figures show that this rule has led to only a handful of fines. Since June 1, only 17 fines have been issued to people who have failed to adhere to the quarantine rule.
Dutch government's mandatory quarantine rule
The government’s quarantine rule states that anyone returning from high-risk countries, such as India, South Africa or the United Kingdom, must present a completed quarantine statement when they arrive in the Netherlands before going into self-isolation for at least five days. Failing to present the quarantine statement will result in a 95-euro fine, meanwhile failing to quarantine will result in a 340-euro fine.
Before the rule was introduced, the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) saw much debate as to whether the rule could be enforced, but Health Minister Hugo de Jonge was adamant that the call centre set up to monitor those who were expected to quarantine would be effective.
17 fines handed out for non-compliance with quarantine rule
Figures presented by De Jonge have revealed that, since the start of June, the Ministry of Health has received over 3.200 completed quarantine statements, but only 17 fines had been issued. He said that “thousands” of phone calls had been made, and that only “a few percent” of people ignore the rule.
Since June 19, municipalities have had to follow up on 184 cases where the person expected to quarantine failed to answer the phone. The municipalities then sent community service officers (BOAs) to the addresses provided by these people, and in 17 cases no one answered the door.
The Ministry of Health set aside 19,4 million euros for the implementation of this rule, with 4,5 million euros invested into the necessary IT systems, 950.000 euros put aside to set up the call centres, and 3,74 million euros given to municipalities to cover enforcement costs.