Netherlands back to EU's Red, Dark Red level for coronavirus risk
The Netherlands was classified at the worst or second-worst risk level for coronavirus infections by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The map is updated weekly by the ECDC. On Thursday it moved Groningen from the level indicating the lowest risk to Dark Red, the worst level, and downgraded the rest of the Netherlands to Red.
The country's status was changed after data showed the fastest rate of increase for coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic. This took place in the period immediately after the Cabinet released most lockdown restrictions on June 26, which forced officials to apologize for their handling of the situation and implement more measures this past Friday.
Anyone traveling from the Netherlands may be subject to increasing restrictions and conditions to enter into other countries due to the surge in infections.
Many countries will still allow people to enter their borders from a Red country if it is two weeks after they have received their last vaccination shot, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said during a debate in Parliament on Wednesday night after he was pressed on the issue. De Jonge said that anyone planning to travel abroad should use the government's Wijsopreis.nl website, and its corresponding Reisapp, to find out about relevant conditions.
"We've been saying for a while, 'Look and keep looking, just before you leave and again when you return, for the moment when the country where you happen to be on holiday changes color.'"
He also said the Cabinet ministers in charge of tourism, justice and security and foreign affairs are all working with their counterparts in Europe to make sure everyone in the EU sticks to the same policy.
"And if it is really necessary, the prime minister will do that with his colleagues. If necessary, we are all ready to ensure that the borders remain open for Netherlands residents during the holiday periods, but every country controls its own borders."
Regions are categorized by the ECDC as Dark Red when they have diagnosed over 500 coronavirus infections per 100 thousand residents in any 14-day period. They are shaded Red when there are between 201 and 499 infections per capita during that time. They can also be shaded Red when 75 to 200 per capita infections are found, and the positivity rate is four percent or more.
The ECDC said the national positivity rate for the Netherlands was established at just under seven percent. None of the provinces were even close to being at Code Orange with a positivity rate that high.
Cyprus was also rated at Dark Red, while Spain was a mix of Red and Dark Red. Luxembourg and Portugal were also entirely shaded Red on the updated map.