Vacations possible from Saturday, OMT advises against relaxations

It will soon be possible to once again hop on a plane and jet off for a summer holiday. As of this Saturday, May 15, travel advice will be given per country (instead of the entire EU). Some countries will be deemed safe enough for summer tourists.

However, it’s not all sunshine and the smell of sunscreen. Dutch Minister for Health Hugo De Jonge, warned in last night’s press conference that while some countries may currently be classed as low risk, this status is subject to change.

Code orange vs. code yellow

Currently, the entire world has been determined a code orange risk. This means that the risk of contracting coronavirus while travelling is high. Those who travel between code orange countries should only do so because it is necessary (for example, you are attending a funeral.)

However, if certain countries are reverted to code yellow status on Saturday, then the rules are more relaxed. If a country is determined to be a code yellow risk then it is safe enough for tourists to travel there (at their own risk and provided they follow coronavirus measures.)

Do other countries want the Dutch?

However, while the Dutch may determine a certain country to be code yellow, that does not mean that the Dutch are welcome. Other countries may deem the Netherlands to be a high risk country โ€” meaning no Dutchies allowed.

Other countries wouldn’t be blamed for making this decision. According to the latest statistics from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, a large part of the Netherlands is considered high risk in terms of the number of coronavirus infections.

Testing and quarantine

On top of this, a holiday vacay will most likely still involve PCR testing and mandatory quarantine. For example, tourists will have to quarantine for 14 days if they wish to travel to Portugal, RTL Nieuws reports. The measures differ per country, but don’t act surprised if your idyllic holiday abroad involves face masks, rapid testing and quarantine periods.

OMT advises against expected relaxations

Last night also saw Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister for Health Hugo de Jonge make some promising remarks, namely that the Netherlands will see some large relaxations next week IF hospitalisations go down.

Amongst the expected relaxations are the reopening of gyms, zoos and theatres under certain conditions as well as the extension of opening hours for terraces and return to work for contact professionals.

According to the latest advisory report from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), these relaxations are risky. The report says that if the Dutch government moves too quickly with the relaxation of coronavirus measures, reversing the damage will be “next to impossible,” the NOS reports.

The OMT fears that the Dutch cabinet may be hoping for too much too soon and in the process, they may destroy the possibility of a summer with eased measures.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming relaxations? Tell us in the comments below!

Featured Image: Haley Phelps/Unsplash

Sarah O'Leary ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions โ€” she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


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