Outbreak Management urged Cabinet to discourage travel
The Cabinet decided not to add the Outbreak Management's Team (OMT) advice to discourage travel to the list of Covid-19 measures announced on Saturday.
"Going on vacation is allowed, but stick to applicable rules in the country where you are going," Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said during the press conference on Saturday.
The OMT encouraged the government to issue an urgent advice not to travel for vacation. "The advice is to apply the same restrictions as in December 2020 and January 2021," the OMT said. In December 2020, the government issued a strong advice to stay home as much as possible and not make any unnecessary trips.
The OMT said the government should strongly discourage travel until researchers know more about the new Omicron coronavirus variant. The variant is expected to be the dominant variant in the Netherlands by the new year. "The OMT is concerned about the Omicron variant, which still only accounts for a small part of the infections, but that share will increase very quickly," RIVM director Jaap Van Dissel said during the Saturday press conference.
Starting on Wednesday, all travelers outside the Schengen Area will have to show proof of a PCR test no older than 48 hours. "The double-test obligation now only applies to very high-risk countries; we want this to apply to all countries from outside Europe. The Netherlands will bring that into effect from next Wednesday," De Jonge said