Young travellers are bringing coronavirus back to the Netherlands from vacation

Young travellers returning from a holiday in Portugal or Spain are strongly advised to get tested after returning to the Netherlands, even if they have no complaints.

“In the past week, we have seen an increase in young people who test positive for coronavirus after a holiday abroad,” reports the RIVM. The public health institute is therefore appealing to those between the ages of 17 and 24 to get tested after returning to the Netherlands.

Six percent of the 8,981 people who tested positive had recently been abroad, most of them returning from countries such as Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Belgium. 

Infections in Spain and Portugal increasing

The number of infections in Spain and Portugal has increased slightly over the past couple of days, especially among young people. At the same time, both countries recently relaxed most of their coronavirus restrictions.

Spain ditched curfew last month, with the Basque Country no longer implementing restrictions on how many people can be together in a group. Nightlife in Madrid is also slowly going back to normal, with dancing allowed outside, albeit with a face mask and at a 1.5 metres distance. 

READ MORE | Where can I holiday? Current travel advice from the Netherlands

However, many young people don’t adhere to the rules that are still in place. “On one hand, you see that the government is trying to open things up to attract tourists but on the other hand, the rules are poorly understood — especially by young people. The youth culture is together on the beach, partying and drinking,” correspondent Rop Zoutberg tells the NOS.

Dutch infections keep going down

Coronavirus infections coming from abroad are of particular concern especially as the numbers in the Netherlands keep dropping. The number of positive coronavirus tests decreased in 288 of the 352 Dutch municipalities last week, reports RTL Nieuws

For most municipalities (208), the risk level “concern” applies, meaning there are between 35 and 100 positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants. Serious risk level now only applies to 15 municipalities, compared to 86 municipalities last week.

What’s your opinion? Should young travellers returning to the Netherlands from abroad get tested? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Dan Gold/Unsplash

Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.

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