Gov't advised to ban travel abroad during Christmas holidays
Negative travel advice should apply to travel abroad during the Christmas holidays, the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) said in its latest advice to the government on measures against the coronavirus, Het Parool reports.
According to the OMT, during the summer months "many hundreds" of people returned to the Netherlands from a holiday abroad with Covid-19. Moreover, figures from health service GGD show that only about a quarter of people who returned from coronavirus hotspots actually went into quarantine.
Winter sports holidays are very popular this time of year, and they entail major risks for coronavirus infections, the OMT said. In many places, like in the queue at the ski lift, it is difficult to keep 1.5 meters apart. Winter sports holidays also often involve going to crowded catering establishments, the OMT said.
Assuming the coronavirus situation outside the Netherlands will not change significantly in the coming weeks, holidays abroad must be discouraged, the OMT said.
When it comes to holidaying in the Netherlands, the OMT advises only going on holiday with your housemates or a limited number of others. Family visits during the Christmas period should be "kept to a minimum and immediate family".
The association for travel agencies ANVR is surprised by this advice. According to the association, the sector has set many protocols to prevent infections. "This is how you completely kill off a sector that was already in dire straits. Some destinations are even safer than the Netherlands at the moment, such as the Canary Islands. And then you hear this. We are very angry about it."