Travellers who ignore coronavirus quarantine rules when they arrive in the Netherlands from a risky country will face a €435 fine, under draft legislation sent to parliament by health minister Hugo de Jonge on Friday.
The law is likely to come into effect on May 15, when the Netherlands is set to lift some of the restrictions it has imposed on foreign travel. A fine of €435 means an automatic criminal record.
Currently people arriving in the Netherlands from red or orange zone countries – which cover most of the world – are supposed to go into quarantine for 10 days, or less if they have a negative test after a five day wait. But research suggests just one in five people actually stick to the rules when they return from abroad.
‘When we can travel more, we have to make sure people don’t bring virus mutations back with them in their suitcases,’ De Jonge said.
Travellers will have to have a quarantine declaration with them which states where they will go into quarantine. Checks will be made by phone or local councils can send officials round to see if people are where they say they would be.
People travelling by car can be subjected to spot checks on arrival, while bus, train and boat passengers will be checked by their transport company. Travellers will also have to carry a negative coronavirus test result.
Compulsory quarantine was first mooted last year but has been delayed by ‘legal obstacles’, news website Nu.nl said.
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