If you’re going on holiday, make sure you travel smart

Please note: this news item was published on June 3. Read more about the current approach to tackling coronavirus in the Netherlands.

Because of coronavirus, summer 2020 will be different to what we’re used to. Going on holiday this year is not something that can simply be taken as a given. If you do decide to go on holiday, the government’s advice is to prepare well and make sure you’re well informed.

Read the press conference about coronavirus and summer holidays in simple English.

During the summer, everyone should:

  • follow the basic rules and advice to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as avoiding busy places. And if you have coronavirus-like symptoms, get tested and stay home.
  • travel by car, bike or on foot and only use public transport for essential journeys.
  • travel off-season if possible, if you aren’t bound to school holidays.

Consider holidaying in the Netherlands. Avoid busy places and consider visiting regions or cities that are not part of the regular tourist hotspots. If you do go abroad on holiday, you will need to prepare well. Only go to countries with a yellow travel advisory. Travelling to these countries is responsible, but you must still be extra vigilant. Make sure you know what the rules are in the country you’re travelling to; know what your travel insurance covers; and stay up to date with the latest information during your trip, for instance by using the BZ Travel App (Dutch). Travel advice can change quickly, including while you're away.

Travelling within Europe

As of 15 June, travel advisories for several European countries will be changed from orange to yellow. That means that the risk to health in these countries is comparable to that in the Netherlands and that these countries are happy to receive Dutch tourists. Other countries, for instance France and Spain, still need to make an official decision on whether or not Dutch tourists are welcome this summer.

Travel advisories will remain orange for three European countries: Sweden, the United Kingdom (because the risk to health is considered to be greater there) and Denmark (because this country does not yet want to receive tourists from the Netherlands). The aim is to allow travel to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba, Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten) from 15 June as well. Keep checking Nederlandwereldwijd.nl for the most up-to-date travel advice (Dutch).

Travelling outside Europe

In order to limit the risk of a new outbreak as much as possible, travelling outside Europe is not recommended. Travel advisories for countries outside Europe and outside the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will therefore remain orange for the time being. This means: only travel there if it is absolutely essential. If you do go, you are strongly advised to self-isolate at home for 2 weeks upon your return to the Netherlands.

Foreign tourists in the Netherlands

Tourists from countries where the risk to health is either comparable to or lower than that of the Netherlands can visit the Netherlands this summer. They must of course follow all the rules in place in the Netherlands to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Schengen area (which the Netherlands is part of) and the United Kingdom have closed their external borders to people from outside the EU whose journey is not essential. This ban will be in place up to 15 June 2020 (inclusive) but will be evaluated at EU level before that date.

Read the Q&A's about holidays to the Netherlands as of June 15 2020 (Netherlandsandyou.nl)

Decision on primary schools

In the press conference of 3 June, Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that primary schools will be fully operational from 8 June. Research by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has confirmed that there is no reason not to proceed with allowing schools to do this.