Most travel-related quarantine rules will expire Feb. 25; The test obligation may remain
People traveling to the Netherlands from any region designated as a “very high risk area” due to the coronavirus will not necessarily have to be quarantined from February 25, the Ministry of Health said. Health in a press release. Currently, this includes countries where a concerning variant is present and where there are either a high number of coronavirus infections or where authorities have not provided a clear picture of the situation.
Negative antigen or coronavirus PCR tests will still be required of all travelers to the Netherlands from outside the European Union. Anyone arriving from inside the EU will also be able to use their coronavirus access pass.
There are 40 countries on the current list of very high risk areas, according to the Foreign Office. The list currently includes the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Turkey, Suriname and the United Kingdom. Since last week, people from these countries could avoid the quarantine obligation if they had already received a booster of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Foreign Office has also confirmed that the coronavirus situation in an area will no longer be the sole determining factor in travel advice to that area.
The Netherlands uses four alert levels for its risk assessments of foreign regions, green, yellow, orange and red, from least to most serious. From Wednesday, he will begin the process of reassessing each country based on all factors. “This will be done, in part, on the advice of Dutch embassies and consulates around the world. All safety and health risks are considered, including coronavirus,” the ministry said.
Many countries will quickly be downgraded from the Orange level. Countries outside the European Union and the Schengen area will return to their color codes before the coronavirus pandemic if the security situation warrants it. “The exception is countries where a worrying new virus variant emerges. In this case, a country is always automatically coded orange,” the ministry said. This means that only urgently necessary trips should be made.
“Travelers will again be required to self-quarantine upon returning from such a country.”
It was not immediately clear how many countries would switch from Orange to a less strict situation, but De Telegraaf reported earlier today that the Foreign Office could immediately place 30 popular destinations on Yellow. Some countries will retain code orange status if they do not welcome visitors, such as New Zealand, the newspaper said. Strict rules regarding movement will be maintained there, with only certain groups such as students or military personnel being welcome.
Throughout the pandemic, travel advice has been closely tied to coronavirus figures, with only necessary travel encouraged. The Netherlands uses a color coding system to categorize countries for their travel advice; last summer the code orange for the EU was reduced to yellow, meaning more leisure travel could resume.
The advice not to travel outside the EU has been ignored by many travelers and even travel agencies. Vacation companies were still organizing trips to countries like Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico.