Netherlands to go Dark Red on EU map this week, De Jonge says
The sharp increase in coronavirus infections this month means the Netherlands will be categorized at Dark Red by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. That is the most serious risk level out of four classifications from the ECDC.
Putting the entire country at Dark Red increases the possibility that more countries require people traveling from the Netherlands to quarantine on arrival. It can also result in stricter coronavirus testing policies against those departing from the Netherlands.
"We will discuss this with countries, whether this is really necessary, but in the end it is up to the countries themselves," De Jonge told reporters gathered for a short press conference. Belgium, France and Germany all tightened up restrictions for people arriving from the Netherlands just when the Netherlands was placed at the Red level.
The ECDC updates its map weekly on Fridays. In its last update on July 15, it moved all of the Netherlands to the second most serious level, Red, except for Groningen. That province jumped from Green, indicating no risk, to Dark Red.
The Cabinet eliminated most coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands on June 26. Since the start of the month, the average number of daily coronavirus infections ballooned from 608 on June 30 to 10,101 on July 18. It was expected to edge higher on Monday.
When De Jonge and Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the withdrawal of coronavirus measures, 100 contagious people were infecting about 80 others with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. By Friday it was estimated that the same number of people were passing the infection on to 291 others, placing the basic reproduction (R) number at 2.91, a record high since the pandemic began.
The Cabinet reintroduced some restrictions related to the hospitality and events sectors, and has asked people to work from home as much as possible. It now also advises people to ventilate indoor spaces on a daily basis.