Dozens of travel organizations taking Dutch state to court over travel advice
Dozens of travel organizations are filing lawsuits against the government because they believe the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives incorrect travel advice. Code orange travel warnings also apply to vaccinated travelers to countries outside the European Union, while risks to these people are low, according to a total of 72 organizations. According to the companies, the State can expect a summons later this week.
Small and medium-sized specialized companies, including Explore Tanzania, Jambo Safari Club, and Around The World Travel, are involved in the lawsuits. They say that long-haul travel is unjustly discouraged, which is causing significant damage to the sector. The travel organizations argued that the quarantine obligation outside the EU no longer applies for vaccinated travelers and that vaccinations work well everywhere, including outside the EU.
Therefore, they demand "reliable travel advice" that considers that the majority of Dutch people are vaccinated. The current travel advice dates from the time before vaccines, the organizations said, and countries that are safe for vaccinated people should receive code yellow or green travel advice.
According to the travel providers, the Ministry says it is "striving for a plan, possibly in November," but that will be too late. "What Dutch travelers expect from the caretaker Cabinet is current, fair, and reliable travel advice immediately," said Joshua van Eijndhoven of travel agency Voja Travel. He spoke on behalf of the 72 travel organizations. "Reliable travel advice, of course, means taking into account that you're vaccinated."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a response that the code orange travel advice for many countries outside Europe is there for a reason. "For example, we saw before that people in orange areas can face conditions that deteriorate quickly, and sudden local measures such as quarantine," explained a spokeswoman. She said she understands that people would like to go to distant destinations again, but traveling must be responsible. "For the traveler himself and also for the interest of Dutch public health." The government is working on a "future-proof" coronavirus travel policy. Several Ministries are involved in this. "At this point, we can't say what the changes will entail exactly or when these changes will be implemented."
Reporting by ANP.