Own people first: Dutch province sends away non-registered people

The Dutch province of Zeeland has closed the area to tourists. Dutch families with a second home in the beach region have also been told by neighbours and authorities to leave. 

The ban on non-registered people came into effect at noon today, Het Parool reportsVeiligheidsregio (The Safety Region) has banned all tourist accommodation “in view of the limited size of the care capacity and the urgent shortage of GPs.”

But the region hasn’t limited the bans just to holiday homes. Ebel Kemeling (52) from Amsterdam wanted to escape to their second home in Zeeland with his girlfriend and two children. However, they found they weren’t welcome. A neighbourhood Whatsapp group said Eigen volk eerst — or, ‘own people first.’

“People have also come to the door to tell us to leave. That was very emotional for my wife and that was also the main reason to leave,” Kemeling told Het Parool.

“I don’t think they can prohibit us from using our own home at all. They do not have that authority at all,” he continued. “Moreover, the house is designated as a second home on the zoning plan, not as a holiday home.”

Not allowed

Kemeling has been told that even though his family has owned the home for 70 years, his family cannot be there. “They want to send everyone to the house where they are registered.”

He can understand why holiday-makers should not be allowed in the region but says he works from home. “We don’t have any time off at all, we’re just working. So there is no question of recreational stay at all. Strange,” said Kemeling.

The Amsterdammer plans to take his case further. “I am considering summary proceedings. The house has been in the family for seventy years and now we are being expelled. That is simply not allowed. I am convinced that I win.”

Do you think Dutch provinces should be able to turn away non-registered residents during the pandemic? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Andreas Poznanski/Pixabay

Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.


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