Officials in the Netherlands are tightening coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related entry restrictions for travelers from several countries. As of Oct. 16, Belgium, France, UK, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia are marked as code orange, indicating that all travelers arriving from these countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Travelers from the following locations are also required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival:
- Austria: the Tyrol region (including the cities of Innsbruck and Schwaz), the Vorarlberg region, and the Lower Austria region (including the capital Vienna)
- Czech Republic
- Denmark: the city of Copenhagen, Faaborg-Midtfyn, and Slagelse
- Greece: all of the Greek Islands, Peloponnesos peninsula, and the Greek mainland are excluded
- Portugal: the Metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Leziria
- Sint Maarten
- Switzerland: the Cantons of Geneve, Freiburg, and Vaud
Although authorities previously removed entry restrictions for travelers from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, officials have reimposed specific travel advisories for the areas above in this bloc. Travelers from other EEA may enter the Netherlands without restrictions.
Residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and China 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.
Previously, health officials in the Netherlands further tightened restrictions Oct. 14 due to a nationwide increase in COVID-19 infection rates. The following measures will remain in effect until at least Oct. 27:
- Persons may receive up to three guests per day at home.
- A maximum of four people from different households may gather - indoors and outdoors - outside their homes.
- Up to 30 people may be in the same indoor area when seating is provided.
- Employers are encouraged to let their peoples work from home whenever possible.
- Anyone over the age of 13 must wear a protective face covering in indoor public areas and on public transport.
- All food and beverage establishments, such as cafes and restaurants, will be closed; takeout is still permissible.
- Retail stores must close by 2000; grocery stores are exempt.
- Events other than food markets, trade fairs, conferences, cinemas, theaters, sports matches, civic demonstrations, and related gatherings are suspended.
- Sporting events where a distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) can be kept are permitted, individually or in a team with no more than four people. Competitions are suspended. Professional athletes and the national football leagues are exempt.
- Residents are encouraged to travel as little as possible and to avoid crowds.
Most domestic businesses and services have resumed operations, provided they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Individuals must observe social distancing of 1.5 meters (5 feet) at all times, where possible.
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.
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.