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Netherlands allows holiday travel to safe countries from 15 May

Netherlands allows holiday travel to safe countries from 15 May

Travel outside of the country for non-essential reasons used to be discouraged

Travelling from the Netherlands to low-risk countries for tourism will again be possible from 15 May, informed Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge at a press conference on Tuesday evening. The cabinet has decided to lift the negative travel advisory concerning holiday trips, starting from mid-May.

The safe countries will be coded either green or yellow (meaning that travel is possible or possible with caution), while those where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still high and where the negative travel advisory from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains will be coded as orange or red (meaning only essential and no travel, respectively).

Furthermore, the authorities are hopeful that the safe country list will expand and are looking forward to enlarging the possibility for holiday travel abroad.

Netherlands: which countries are safe to travel to?

To find out if their destination is considered safe and to learn what entry restrictions or travel requirements apply in a country at any given moment, Dutch residents can check out the official Netherlands Worldwide website (currently, the map shows only orange and red countries, but this might change based on the current situation).

Alternatively, they could also download the Reisapp mobile application from Google Play and Apple App stores, where they will find the latest travel advice or receive a notification when the travel advisory for a certain country changes.

To determine which countries are safe to travel to, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment assesses various factors, such as the degree of infection, the number of tests taken, the percentage of positive results, the number of travellers who test positive in the Netherlands and have recently been to a certain country and the trend of the incidence figures. Furthermore, the presence of coronavirus mutations and variants is also taken into account.

Travellers who return from high-risk countries should show a negative test upon their return and go into quarantine.

In addition, the country is looking forward to the introduction of the Digital Green Certificate – a Europe-wide system, allowing travellers to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, have recently tested negative for COVID-19 or have built immunity. Ideally, the legislation should come into effect at EU level on 21 June, which gives member-states another couple of weeks to implement it on their territories.

Finally, at the press conference it was announced that if the number of hospital admissions continues to decrease, the coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed from 19 May. This provides for the conditional opening of swimming pools and gyms, group lessons for children up to 17 years old, outdoor group sports, outdoor parks and zoos.

Contact professions, including sex workers and beauty salons will also be allowed to resume work, while café and restaurant terraces could open for longer periods. Further information on this point will be given on 17 May.

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