In April nearly 134 thousand passengers traveled to, from, or through the five national airports of the Netherlands, a decrease of 98 percent compared to April last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday. Freight transport decreased by 25 percent to 103 thousand tons transported weight. The decreases are largely attributed to restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The first repatriation flight from Morocco landed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at around 00:30 a.m. on Monday. The Boeing 767 of travel agency TUI departed from Casablanca on Sunday evening. There were around 300 Dutch aboard, according to AD.
The passengers on the first repatriation flight involved Netherlands residents with an urgent need to get home, such as people who need medicines or medical care.
The first of the some 3 thousand Dutch people currently stranded in Morocco are heading home on Sunday, when at least one flight will depart from Casablanca to Schiphol, the Volkskrant reports after speaking to several Dutch people who were informed that they can be on this flight.
German health service Robert Koch Institute (RKI) classified the Netherlands as an "international risk area" for the further spread of the coronavirus. The country's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is expected to decide on Monday whether the borders with the Netherlands will close, NOS reports.
Another 534 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus since Thursday, which took the country's total number of infected people to 2,994. Thirty of those patients died since Thursday, meaning that 106 people with coronavirus have died in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said on Friday.
More and more countries are closing their borders due to the Covid-19 outbreak, resulting in more and more airlines canceling flights, leaving a large number of Dutch people stuck abroad. The general association of Dutch travel agencies ANVR thinks about 200 thousand Dutch who booked through a travel agency is stuck outside the Netherlands.
A group of Dutch-Iranians launched a petition against American President Donald Trump's decree banning Iranians, and people from six other Muslim countries, from entering the United States. The petition, which demands that Iranians not be banned from the U.S., will be handed in at the Embassy of the United States in the Netherlands. "We also demand that the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Dutch Parliament defend our rights, as the citizens of this country." the petition reads.
Nearly a third of Dutch residents believe that the Netherlands should close the borders for all forms of immigration, including workers from other European countries. Almost half of the Dutch population believe that the refugees will have a negative effect on the Dutch economy.
In Liberia, Dutch Anneke de Kok-Quoi and her Liberian husband have started a campaign to prevent the spread of Ebola. Her message is one of sanitation, as she donates free buckets with lids for people to wash their hands with. This prevents infection. The Algemeen Dagblad reports.