Dutch working on plans to make long haul travel an option again: Telegraaf

Photo: Benjamin van Waart/Flickr
Many flights have been grounded by travel restrictions. Photo: Benjamin van Waart/Flickr

The Netherlands is working on plans which would boost travel outside Europe, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.

Currently all non-essential travel outside the EU is frowned upon, although the rules have been relaxed slightly recently for some people. Nevertheless, most of the world remains an amber or red zone.

‘The virus is not going away. You cannot keep the world under lock and key, and we have not fully acknowledged the importance of travel,’ a foreign ministry spokesman told the paper.

‘We understand the difficulties facing the travel sector and are looking for a solution… but the safety of travellers and the health of the Dutch has to be guaranteed.’

Travel groups have welcomed the apparent change of heart, the Telegraaf said. ‘We have been calling for this for months,’ said Frank Oostdam, head of the ANVR travel industry lobby group.

In particular, the Zandvoort Grand Prix, the Fieldlab experiments and the ending of company support measures on October 1 make new policy inevitable, he said.

‘We no longer recommend against travel to amber countries as an organisation,’ he said. ‘You cannot stop travel recommendations eroding slowly.’

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