Travel advice: only travel abroad if essential

Please note: this news item was published on March 17. Read more about travelling and going on holiday.

Many countries are taking drastic measures to combat the further spread of coronavirus. Further steps cannot be ruled out and the situation can change rapidly. These measures have far-reaching consequences for anyone travelling abroad.

  • Read the questions and answers for more detailed information about the travel ban on 
  • More information about the consequences of coronavirus for travelling abroad on

Today the EU member states decided to place severe restrictions on travel to the EU Schengen area, which includes the Netherlands. As of now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising all Dutch people not to travel abroad in the coming period unless absolutely essential. This is due not to health-related factors, but to the impact that measures imposed by other countries could have on Dutch travellers.

The Ministry is thus advising against taking holidays abroad. This means that, as of now, the Netherlands’ travel advice for all countries stands at least at ‘orange’: travel only if absolutely essential.

The Ministry is consulting closely with the travel industry and other countries on the consequences of this measure. If you have plans to travel, consider whether it is really necessary. Postpone the trip if possible, or cancel it. If you are currently abroad, decide whether you truly need to continue your stay and find out whether you are able to leave the country. Contact your airline or travel organisation for advice.

Together with the travel industry we are exploring options to facilitate the return of Dutch travellers who wish to go home, so make use of the travel options the industry offers you. If you are not able to leave, make sure you have a safe place to stay, if necessary in consultation with your travel organisation.

The EU member states have exempted the transport sector and goods transport from the new EU restrictions, and the same exemptions apply to the Netherlands’ new travel advice. The government appreciates all the efforts of everyone working in the travel and transport sectors.

Information or assistance

If you need more information or require assistance, please contact your travel insurer or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which can be reached:

  • by telephone at +31 247 247 247 (Please note: our phone lines are extremely busy and you may have to wait for some time before your call is answered.)
  • via Twitter at @24/7BZ