Consequences of coronavirus for travelling abroad: where can I find more information?

Travel advisory: only travel abroad if strictly necessary

Numerous countries are taking drastic measures to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. It is perfectly possible that new measures will yet be introduced, and the situation can change rapidly. These measures have far-reaching consequences for people who want to travel.

Why does the colour code orange apply to the entire world?

The EU countries have decided to limit drastically the possibility of travel to the Schengen Area. For this reason, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising all Dutch people not to travel abroad unless absolutely necessary. Holiday trips abroad are being discouraged.

What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states including the Netherlands. As such, the Schengen countries agree on joint arrangements relating to access into the Schengen Area.

About orange travel advisory

What is ‘essential’ travel?

You yourself must decide whether travel is necessary. Everyone with travel plans is urged to reconsider. The authorities advise against holiday trips, as these are considered non-essential travel.

Goods and other professional transport is emphatically considered ‘essential traffic’. The travel advisory therefore does not apply to the transport industry and goods transport.

What does this mean for business travel?

Business travellers are urged to consider whether any business travel is absolutely necessary at this point.

Goods and other professional transport is emphatically considered ‘essential traffic’. The travel advisory therefore does not apply to the transport industry and goods transport.

Can I still travel within and outside the Schengen Area?

The essential travel advisory applies to the entire world, including the Schengen countries. This means that travelling by car to Germany or Belgium is equally inadvisable, for instance.

I am currently abroad. Should I travel back to the Netherlands?

If you are abroad at this time, please keep a close eye on developments. Many countries are implementing measures that may impact departure from the country in question.

Since countries will be in ‘lock-down’ for a significant period of time, you may want to consider travelling home while you still can. We are consulting with the travel industry to find ways to allow Dutch travellers who wish to return to the Netherlands to do so. Please avail yourself of the travel options offered by the travel industry. If you are unable to leave, please find a safe place to stay. Consult with your travel organisation if necessary. Consult the latest information about changes in air traffic on the website of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) (in English).

I am stuck abroad and cannot get home. What should I do?

If you should find yourself unable to return home, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends finding a suitable solution for a protracted stay abroad. Please consult with your travel organisation.

We trust that local authorities will make sure that tourists can safely extend their stay.

Will the Ministry of Foreign Affairs bring home people who cannot leave?

Dutch people who are abroad and wish to return home are advised to contact their travel organisation and transport company, such as the airline or bus company, and discuss the options to return home safely. Please make sure to avail yourself of any available options.

If necessary, the airlines will cooperate with embassies to allow for exceptions to a ban on departures.

Until what date will this measure remain in place?

This measure is temporary and initially will remain in place until 28 April 2020. At that time, the authorities will determine whether the travel restrictions can be lifted.

Why are all countries set to orange?

It is better for Dutch people to refrain from travelling abroad at this time.

Numerous countries are currently taking drastic measures to prevent the further spread of coronavirus and have already set their colour code to orange. There are many unpleasant consequences for travellers. Other countries are likely to take drastic measures to restrict further spread of coronavirus within their borders. This is why all countries now have the colour code orange. It means that only essential travel is allowed.

What does the change mean for specific travel advisories per country?

Where it concerns coronavirus, the colour code of the map (orange or red) takes precedence. Consult the section Safety Risks in the specific travel advisory for safety risks that are not related to coronavirus.

How will travellers be kept up to date?

Travel advisories will be updated worldwide and country-specific elements other than coronavirus remain in place.

Embassies will continue to disseminate information about restrictive measures within their countries via public channels (e.g. social media). The general travel advisory will be distributed through all channels available to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (embassies, social media channels, 24x7 Contact Centre).

Are you staying abroad? Please register with the Information Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will inform you of the situation in your location. If you wish, you can also register with the embassy.

Do you need help or information?

Please contact your travel insurance company or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

•   Call +31 247 247 247 (please note that it is currently very busy, and the wait time may be long)

•   Via Twitter at @24/7BZ

Follow the social media of the Dutch embassies in foreign countries (particularly Facebook and Twitter)

I am stuck abroad and am running out of medicines. How can I get a new supply?

The situation and method to combat the virus vary per country and may change quickly. The medical facilities may also differ from those in the Netherlands.

Patients must contact their doctor in the Netherlands for a medical certificate, so they can obtain their medicines via pharmacies or the emergency department of a hospital abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is unable to assist you in this matter.

Travel rights

What are your rights if your holiday must be cancelled due to coronavirus? It depends on what kind of holiday you have booked: a holiday package, a ticket, or an individual accommodation. Read more about your travel rights in relation to coronavirus on the ACM ConsuWijzer website.