Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: The Netherlands maintains COVID-19 international entry restrictions as of Sept. 1; list of countries approved for travel updated.

Alert Begins 01 Sep 2020 11:22 AM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

The Netherlands continues to maintain restrictions on international travelers from some regions Sept. 1 in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Although authorities previously removed entry restrictions for travelers from European Economic Area countries, officials have reimposed specific travel advisories for certain areas in this bloc. The requirement to self-quarantine for 10 days has been reimposed on travelers from Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania, and parts of Belgium (Antwerp and Brussels), France (Ile-de-France region including Paris, and the departments of Bouches-du-Rhone, Essonne, Val-d’Oise, Yvelines, Sarthe, Rhone, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Gard, Var, Vaucluse, Herault, Alpes-Maritimes and Loiret), Portugal (Lisbon Region), and Spain (the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands). Additionally, residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK, and Uruguay are exempt from the self-quarantine rules.

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, on-duty security forces personnel, freight workers, and diplomats; all such travelers are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.

Most domestic businesses and services have resumed operations, provided they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Protective face coverings are mandatory on public transport nationwide, as well as in certain crowded pedestrian areas of central Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Individuals must observe social distancing of 1.5 meters (5 feet) at all times, where possible; authorities continue to advise those who can to work from home to facilitate this.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities will likely introduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to certain countries, domestic neighborhoods, or specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. 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.

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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