Christmas Wishes 2020 - Ambassador Margriet Vonno

On behalf of the Embassy of The Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2021!

Dear all,

We are approaching Christmas and New Year, and with that for most people, a time to spend with loved ones.

I know that there are many Dutch in Singapore who had hoped to travel home to the Netherlands during this time, especially when so many of us were forced to cancel planned home trips during the summer due to the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the reality is that COVID-19 still is a big problem, with a second wave currently sweeping across Europe.

Clearly, the situation in Europe is making a trip to the Netherlands over Christmas and New Year difficult. One still needs approval from Singapore for the return and we still have a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a dedicated facility for all visitors travelling from the Netherlands. Recently a new requirement of a negative PCR test before boarding the plane back to Singapore was added.  

Additionally, we have the local rules and regulations in the Netherlands with the partial lockdown that can affect the opportunity to spend time with relatives and friends in the Netherlands.

Together with the other EU countries, we continue to have a close dialogue with the Singaporean authorities. If we hear of any changes, you can trust that we will update you immediately.

As you have probably heard, Singapore is preparing to transition to ‘Phase 3’, in which slowly and securely the restrictions for all of us living in Singapore will be eased. Although we do not know when this will start, this is something to look forward to.

With the difficulties of travelling home to the Netherlands, homesickness may grow.

In case you want to find a little piece of ‘Holland’ in Singapore, you can visit the Poinsettia Wishes display at Gardens by the Bay, where you can see a copy of the Gouda town hall and a few typical thatched houses from Giethoorn. It did help me to get in a positive end of year mood.

We are swiftly approaching the New Year, and we can only hope that it will be a better year than 2020. I wish, despite the pandemic and its’ restrictions, that you will all have a Merry Christmas as we wave goodbye to the old and embrace the new with hope, dreams, good health and ambition.

For me personally, 2020 has been the year of cancer, COVID, but also of consolation. All the support and warmth I have gotten from our wonderful Dutch community is the best memory of 2020 that I have.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Margriet Vonno

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei

Ambassador Margriet Vonno at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Ambassador Margriet Vonno at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore