Netherlands May Ease Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Travellers From High-Risk Areas

Vaccinated visitors from third countries planning to travel to the Netherlands may soon be subject to milder travel restrictions, as the country’s government is discussing such a possibility.

Besides, the country may soon lift its advice not to travel to many countries due to the current COVID-19 situation, unless for essential reasons, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on such a plan, a spokesperson told De Telegraaf, reports.

“The virus is not going away. You cannot keep the world locked up, and we recognize the importance of travel,” the Ministry spokesperson pointed out, as reported by De Telegraaf.

“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,” the spokespersons told the Dutch newspaper.

However, it is still unclear how the new system would work, as the policy will not be implemented any time soon.

On September 4, the Dutch government started to abolish some of its policies applied until that date as a preventive measure imposed to halt the further spread of the virus. Since the exact date, the country’s government lifted the “variant countries” terms for territories considered as a variant of concern, using instead only the terms as orange or red for countries highly affected by the virus.

Such a decision means that vaccinated travellers from territories that have reported a large number of COVID-19 infections are no longer urged to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to the Dutch territory.

According to the figures published by the World Health Organization, a total of 1,961,585 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus up to this point, while 18,055 have died.

Previously, the Dutch government said that some of the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the virus and its new strains could be lifted on September 20; however, the planned date is likely to be postponed.

In this regard, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that as long as the infection rate and the number of COVID-19 patients in the country’s hospitals remain under control, some of the current restrictions could be lifted.

At present, the Netherlands is among European countries that keep in place the toughest restrictions imposed as a response to the recent surge in the number of infections recorded in other countries.

Recently, authorities in the Netherlands imposed stricter entry restrictions for arrivals from the US, following the EU Council recommendation.

In this regard, the Dutch government stressed that vaccinated travellers from the US must undergo a ten-day compulsory quarantine upon their arrival in the Netherlands. However, authorities clarified that the period of quarantine could be shortened if travellers test negative for the virus on the fifth day.