In addition to Denmark, Latvia and Sweden, the color code for Brussels and Athens will also be yellow. Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made an exception for these cities to the general advice for Belgium and Greece. Travelers do not have to show a negative test when returning from a yellow area in the Netherlands, and quarantine on return is not necessary. The relaxed travel advice will come into effect on 1 July.
The Portuguese capital Lisbon will remain orange: ‘only necessary travel’ is the motto. In the rest of Portugal, where the contamination figures are rising rapidly and there are concerns about the delta variant, holiday travel remains possible. RIVM says it is closely monitoring the situation in the country.
The fact that the travel advice for Spain does not change will be a disappointment for many holidaymakers. The number of reported infections in Spain, one of the most popular holiday destinations for the Dutch, is relatively much lower than that in Portugal. However, the ministry advises against traveling to Spain while holiday trips to Portugal, with the exception of Lisbon, are allowed.
The ministry explains that not only the number of infections determines the advice, but also the percentage of positive tests and the number of travelers who return infected from Spain. RIVM announced yesterday that almost one in ten people who tested positive last week had recently been abroad. Most of the four-dog travelers found to be infected were recently in Spain (139) or Portugal (71).
A ‘yellow’ travel advice does not mean that the holiday can be booked immediately. Many countries are not eager for Dutch holidaymakers yet, and many European countries have entry restrictions. The EU is trying to tame the jumble of rules through the Digital Corona Certificate that will be introduced on July 1. The certificate proves whether a traveler has been vaccinated, has a negative test result or has recovered from corona.
The certificate will be available in the CoronaCheck app from tomorrow. But EU countries can also impose other entry rules after 1 July, especially for travelers from areas where many infections have been reported. Now that the Dutch infection rates are falling, additional measures will become less common. For example, since this week, the Netherlands is no longer a risk area according to the German health authorities. Dutch nationals who go to Germany no longer have to show a negative test or register, unless they travel by plane.
From 1 July, RIVM will assume a higher limit value when determining travel advice. Until now, a country or region was orange with more than 150 infections per 100 thousand inhabitants in two weeks. That limit goes to two hundred reported infections, the value that has been agreed within the EU. The advice does not automatically turn yellow as soon as a country falls below that limit. RIVM also looks at the occurrence of worrying variants of the virus and the percentage of positive tests.