Netherlands Begins Welcoming Tourists From June 15, 2020

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The Netherlands on Wednesday published a list of countries where it will welcome tourists this summer and where Dutch should vacation themselves.

Twelve nationals are welcomed from June 15, sixteen between June 15 and July 5, and British, Swedes, and Danes will have to wait for their turn at some later point. The country stays closed for non-European arrivals, including those from the UK. Dutch should only vacation within the EU.

You can access the Netherlands’ page for tourists here.

Here’s the announcement:

Tourists from a number of EU countries can holiday in the Netherlands from 15 June onwards. Foreign tourists must follow Dutch measures to combat COVID-19.

The Netherlands’ policies to control coronavirus have led to encouraging results, which is why the country is carefully moving to re-open its borders. Initially, borders will be open only to tourists from 12 EU countries.

Follow coronavirus prevention measures

If you live in one of these EU countries and are planning to holiday in the Netherlands, you must follow the rules in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands. These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands, including tourists:

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  • Stay 1.5 metres (2 arms lengths) away from other people.
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  • Wash your hands often.
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  • Avoid shaking hands.
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  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
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  • Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
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  • Use your own vehicle, rent a bike or take a taxi. Only use public transport for essential journeys. Holiday travel is not an essential journey. You must wear a non-medical face mask on public transport.

Reservations are mandatory

You must book a place to stay before coming to the Netherlands. Without valid proof of reservation you may be stopped at the border. It is vital to avoid busy places, so take this into account when choosing your destination. Consider going to a different region or city instead of the major tourist hotspots.

Going out and about

In June, the Netherlands relaxed some of the measures introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As a result, establishments serving food and drink, cinemas and museums are now open for restricted numbers of people. In many cases, it is necessary to book in advance. So be aware that spaces may be limited. Cinemas can only host a maximum of 30 people at a time, for example. Swimming pools are open, but showers are not. Shared shower and toilet blocks at campsites and holiday parks are also closed.

Find out more about what restrictions are in place for tourism and recreation in the Netherlands.

COVID-19 symptoms or confirmed infection

If you develop coronavirus-like symptoms, arrange to get tested and self-isolate in your holiday accommodation. To make an appointment for a test, call +31 800 1202. If you test positive for COVID-19, you and your fellow travellers must spend two weeks in self-isolation (quarantine) in your holiday accommodation.

Tourists from outside the EU

The Schengen area (which the Netherlands is part of) and the United Kingdom have closed their external borders to people from outside the EU except for essential travel. This travel ban applies up to and including 15 June 2020. If you are coming from a country outside the EU, you cannot travel to the Netherlands on holiday. Flights from several countries are also not allowed to land at airports on the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba). This ban also applies up to and including 15 June 2020.

Here’s an excerpt from the NL Times (access their piece here):

Some holiday options will be available to residents of the Netherlands this summer, Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed during a press conference on Wednesday. However trips to countries outside of the European Union and the Schengen Area will remain restricted to residents. Any vacationmaker who gets stuck abroad because of new restrictions over the pandemic will not be repatriated.

Restrictions will be reduced from orange to yellow for travel to Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, and the six Carribean islands in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. That will begin on June 15, and later will be expanded to include Austria, France, Spain and Switzerland. This forms part of a wider European effort to lift tourism restrictions on the same date. Outside Europe, the travel restrictions will remain in place.

“From June 15, we want to turn as many countries as possible back to yellow. The most important thing is whether the health risks are comparable, and this will be the case across Europe, except in the United Kingdom and Sweden,” Rutte said. Tourists from the EU and Schengen Area will also be allowed in the Netherlands from that date, except those from Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Here’s the list of countries by the Kingdom of Netherlands:

Conclusion

The list of countries above is confusing because the Netherlands is one of the few European countries that never closed its borders from Schengen/European Union arrivals and still hasn’t. I believe that the list above is merely a suggestion.

Also, not sure if anything is preventing Dutch going outside of the European Union beyond possible quarantine upon arrival to the Netherlands, and no help with repatriation in case of future waves of Covid-19?

Many European countries are in the process of opening their borders in anticipation of the holiday travel this summer. I would assume that most of the travel will be ok within the European Union/Schengen by July, but there are likely restrictions in place for outside arrivals.