Following an extremely busy weekend at Schiphol, which saw travellers unable to practice social distancing, all flights to holiday destinations have been cancelled. The Dutch government has now been left to consider whether a complete flight ban should be brought in for the Netherlands.
Crowds of people could be seen standing shoulder to shoulder at check-in desks in recent footage that has emerged from Schiphol airport. As a result, the decision has been made to cancel all holiday flights.
The travel status for the entire world has also now been changed to code Orange, meaning travel to any country must be deemed as necessary. The Prime Minister is also now considering a total flight ban but this will only be a last resort as the decision would also affect freight traffic.
This is Schiphol airport, Amsterdam. Anyone surprised that Dutch infection rates are rising again? pic.twitter.com/36rdOHxcVu
— Caroline de Gruyter (@CarolineGruyter) December 11, 2020
Holiday flights cancelled
Travel agencies are following the advice of the government and have cancelled all flights to holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands and Antilles. Anyone who is already at these destinations will be able to finish their holiday, TUI tells the NOS.
Director of Schipol: only fly if necessary
The Director of Schiphol Airport, Dick Benschop, has also asked that travellers only travel by plane if it is absolutely necessary. “We do everything advised. I urge everyone to follow the advice and only fly when necessary.”
He explained to the NOS that the crowds that were witnessed in Schiphol on Saturday could be explained but that he would not offer an explanation as “that sounds like an excuse and that is not the point. If something like this happens you have to learn from it.”
A form for necessity of trip
The Minister for Travel, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen was left “disappointed and angry” by the crowds at Schiphol, the NOS reports, and is now considering implementing a system through which travellers must fill out a form stating why their trip is necessary. She outlined her plan in a letter to the Lower House:
“I am investigating whether it is possible to introduce a statement in which travelers indicate whether it concerns a necessary trip. Your House will be informed about this early next year.”
If this is implemented early next year, it is expected that it will at first apply to travellers who wish to travel from the Netherlands. What exactly such a statement will look like and when it must be filled out, has not yet been determined.
Transfers at Schiphol
Whether or not this new travel advice will affect passengers who are only transferring at Schiphol, must now be discussed.
Benschop has said that the airport is now taking extra measures to ensure the safety of its passengers.
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