Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: The Netherlands continues to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions as of July 8; movement and business disruptions remain.

  • Alert Begins: 08 Jul 2020 02:30 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 21 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in the Netherlands continue to gradually ease restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Following an EU recommendation, as of July 1 authorities are permitting entry to residents of Algeria, Australia, China, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay, in addition to China provided the Chinese government removes restrictions prohibiting Dutch nationals from entry. Previous measures lifted restrictions on entry for residents of EU and Schengen Area member states and associated countries. Travelers from these two groups are not required to self-isolate on arrival. Residents of all other countries remain barred from entry, though exceptions are made for individuals with an essential function or need, such as health workers, freight workers, and diplomats; all such arrivals are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

As of July 8, authorities in the Netherlands have permitted most businesses and services to resume operation, provided they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Masks are mandatory on public transport.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The easing of measures in the Netherlands is similar to actions undertaken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the beginning of the summer tourist season, and lower infection rates of COVID-19. As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to neighborhoods or specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary “self-policing” by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, negating the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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