The risk of traveling across the border to some European countries poses no greater risk of catching Covid-19 than remaining in the Netherlands, RIVM head Jaap van Dissel and chief researcher Jacco Wallinga told the public broadcaster NOS in an interview on Saturday.
At least six of the Netherlands' Ministries are currently working on a protocol to ensure that tourism in the country can restart and run smoothly, despite the coronavirus crisis, sources in The Hague told the Telegraaf.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, for example, is looking into the impact tourism has on the road network, public transport, shipping, and aviation. Based on this, the government will determine what measures are necessary to keep transport safe, accessible and not too crowded once tourists return.
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.
At least three times since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, the Dutch government received urgent advice to bundle knowledge about pandemics and seek international cooperation in dealing with them - twice in 2016 and once in 2018. But nothing was done with that advice, Trouw reports based on its own research.
Somewhere between several hundred and 3 thousand Dutch-Moroccan people are trapped in Morocco by the hard lockdown the country implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Moroccan-Dutch association SMN thinks they're trapped because of the strained relationship between the Netherlands and Morocco. Because other European countries, including France and Great Britain, have been able to repatriate citizens despite the lockdown, NOS reports.
Cruise ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam of the Holland America Line were allowed to dock in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter. A number of passengers on MS Zaandam tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19.
In the coming days, KLM will pick up nearly 2 thousand travelers stranded in Australia, Bali and New Zealand with its first flights to Australia in decades. "It has been 20 years since we landed at Sydney Airport," the Dutch airline said on Twitter. These repatriation flights are happening in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A total of some 19 thousand Dutch people are still stranded abroad by restrictions implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 and looking for a way home, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to broadcaster NOS. The Ministry is doing "its best" to get them home, but that's not always easy, Blok said.
The Netherlands is currently discussing special landing rights with Panama, Suriname, Columbia and Peru, to send flights to repatriate Netherlands citizens
The number of people who have tested positive in the Netherlands for coronavirus rose by 1,019 to 7,431 in the past 24 hours. Of that total, 434 patients have died, an increase of 78 from statistics release on Wednesday, public health agency RIVM said.
Travelers stuck outside of the Netherlands due to flights being halted or severely limited in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic have a new option to get help to return home. A ten-million euro fund was launched on Monday to provide assistance to stranded fliers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday.
Essentially, passengers will contribute 300 euros for their own repatriation if returning back from the European Union or 20 countries near the EU. The personal contribution rises to 900 euros for countries further away from the list of EU-adjacent countries.
The some 200 thousand Dutch tourists stuck abroad are running out of time and possibilities to get home as more and more countries close their borders and global air traffic gets closer to being shut down. Some 150 thousand people are at risk of getting stranded for a long time, the Telegraaf reports after speaking to travel agencies and airlines.
Tens of thousands of Dutch travelers are stuck abroad. More and more countries are banning incoming flights from Europe, and Dutch people already there find it almost impossible to leave. They face closed borders, canceled flights, travel organizations that won't answer the phone, and an embassy that can do little for them, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is keeping the possibility open to temporarily halt public life in the Netherlands completely in the fight against the coronavirus. But, as the country's care capacity is still sufficient, such a lock down is not yet necessary, he said to NOS in response to criticism on the Dutch policy to strive for "herd immunity" against Covid-19.
The Dutch government issued a far-reaching cautionary statement on Tuesday telling the country's residents to avoid traveling outside the Netherlands at all costs. The warning, released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was because of the rapid speed with which new restrictions were being introduced by the national government and governments abroad.
"Holiday trips abroad are not recommended," the Ministry continued. "If you have travel plans, consider whether this trip is really necessary. Postpone or cancel the trip whenever possible."
Airline Transavia received permission to organize a number of extra flights to pick up Dutch people stranded in Morocco, the Dutch embassy in Rabat said. Morocco canceled all flights due to the coronavirus Covid-19, leaving many people stranded, AD reports.
On Sunday afternoon, Transavia reported that at least one flight will bring passengers from Marrakech to Amsterdam on Monday. "We are preparing even more extra flights. As soon as these become available, they can also be booked directly via our website," the airline said to the newspaper.
Dozens of countries and territories implemented emergency measures to contain or prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in their lands on Saturday. While Dutch airline KLM said it would work to repatriate passengers, its subsidiary Transavia recommend people scheduled on cancelled flights quickly rebook their tickets to an available option if possible.
As a response, the Dutch government updated its travel advice to 14 different countries. A short description of these advisories follows this article.
Another 111 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus Covid-19, public health institute RIVM announced on Thursday. This brings the total diagnoses to 614, up from Wednesday's 503.
Noord-Brabant is still the most affected province in the Netherlands, with 273 of the Covid-19 patients living in the province. Utrecht is second most affected with 80 patients, followed by 68 patients in Zuid-Holland, 53 in Limburg, and 48 in Gelderland.
Donald Trump's decision to ban flights between Europe and the United states is "potentially very drastic", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday. "We have very intensive relationships, a lot of people- and a lot of trade traffic." The Minister will examine whether the travel advice for the United States needs to be adjusted, he said to NOS.
A group of 25 Dutch tourists are quarantined in a hotel in the Vietnamese coastal town of Hoi An, a spokesperson for TUI Nederland confirmed to NU.nl on Wednesday. During a domestic flight, the group was on a plane with a person possibly infected with coronavirus Covid-19.
The Dutch travelers are in Vietnam as part of a group trip organized by travel organization Kras Reizen, which is part of TUI. The local authorities conducted Covid-19 tests and the travelers must stay in the Cua Dai Beach Hotel until the results are known.
The Netherlands released a stricter travel advisory for its citizens wanting to go to Italy. The update was due to the emergency measures Italian authorities put in place yesterday as an urgent means to fight the spread of coronavirus there. The new warning is the fourth updated advisory covering Italy, and it also affects the nations of San Marino and Vatican City.
KLM put a red line through twelve of its departures to Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The Dutch airline will still fly to infected areas, but at a lower frequency, eliminating at least 25 percent of its flights to Italy this week through March 15th.
If the coronavirus continues to spread in the Netherlands, the authorities have measures ready to take the next step, Prime Minister Mark Rutte assured after a crisis meeting on Tuesday. For the time being, the government will continue to focus on curbing Covid-19. Schools will stay open and events can continue as planned for now, he said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Italy, warning travelers to only visit Northern Italy if absolutely necessary, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch budget airline Transavia said it would eliminate several flights to Italy from mid-March through April because of the coronavirus outbreak there. The spread of the new viral strain, linked to Covid-19, has resulted in decreased passenger demand to the European country, the airline stated.