Ban vacations to coronavirus hot spots: MPs

A majority in the Tweede Kamer called on the government to implement policy to ban holiday trips to countries with many coronavirus infections. This follows travel company Corendon announcing that it will offer vacations to Turkish seaside resorts again from next week, even though the travel advice for Turkey is still at Code Orange, ANP reports.

A Code Orange advice means that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against unnecessary trips to the area. Currently most all negative travel advice from the Ministry has to do with the coronavirus. On Thursday, the Ministry tightened its advice for the Portuguese cities of Lisbon and Porto from Code Yellow to Code Orange because the number of Covid-19 infections in those cities were climbing.

According to parliamentarians Suzanne Kroger (GroenLinks) and Jan Paternotte (D66), a negative travel advice is apparently not enough to dissuade vacationers. "So we're looking for something stronger to prevent unnecessary trips to corona hot spots," Paternotte said to the news wire. A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supports this call.

According to Paternotte, the government can look to Belgium for examples. There travelers must be able to demonstrate with a written statement that their trip to a coronavirus hot spot is absolutely necessary. "A booking to a Corendon resort is not that," he said. Denmark has a similar policy for incoming travelers. 

Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in response to parliamentary questions that because some countries with Code Orange advice allow people from the Netherlands to enter their country, it becomes an issue of personal responsibility. He stressed that it is urgently important that people self-isolate at home for two weeks when they return, and immediately contact their local GGD if they start showing symptoms.