Tuesday 01 December 2020

Dutch publish list of safe holiday destinations, Britain and Sweden remain on amber list

Millions of people will holiday at home this year. Photo: Odi Busman

The Netherlands has finalised its list of 16 European countries where it is safe to go on holiday from June 15, including the Dutch number one summer break destination, France.

The 16 countries, including Germany, Italy, Portugal and Croatia, now carry a foreign affairs ministry code yellow warning, meaning they are safe to visit but tourists should still take care.

Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland are among the countries on the list for a switch from amber to yellow later in the month, with Spain slated for June 21, but Britain and Sweden remain out of bounds. ‘This is because of the health situation in these countries,’ the ministry said. ‘If you do travel there, you are strongly advised to go into 14 days quarantine at home on your return.’

Denmark is on the amber list because it has not yet said whether Dutch tourists will be admitted and officials are still advising against travel outside the EU.

Meanwhile, holiday firms are hoping that the publication of the list will stimulate more people into booking summer breaks abroad.

Frank Oostdam, chairman of the holiday company association ANVR, told the Telegraaf that the publication of the list will give consumers more security. ‘This, and Friday’s declaration that flying is safe, will give consumers courage,’ he told the paper.

Companies focusing on holidays in the Netherlands are doing well, as are destinations people can drive to by car, he said. ‘But flying to southern Europe takes longer,’ he said. ‘In that sense, a bit more rain in the Netherlands would help us. Sunshine and beaches are always a strong motivator.’

Islands

Hans Mosselman, who runs small holiday firm SolFly, told the paper that the sector itself should be more active. ‘There is less likelihood of catching coronavirus in tourist destinations round the Mediteranean, such as the Greek, Spanish and Italian islands and Portugal, than in the Netherlands,’ Mosselman said.

France was the number one foreign summer holiday destination for the Dutch last year, followed by Spain, Italy, Germany and Greece.

The school holidays start at the end of June in the northern region.

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