Starting on Tuesday, January 10, the Netherlands will be the next European Union member country to compel Chinese visitors to test for COVID-19 within 48 hours of their arrival.
The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport made the decision in response to the EU's suggestion to Member States on January 4 to implement such a measure in reaction to the situation in China.
While other nations had already implemented similar restrictions prior to January 4, the Netherlands will begin requiring a negative COVID test on Tuesday, as well as encouraging passengers to wear masks on flights to and from China.
The Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sport, Ernst Kuipers, commented on the new regulations, saying that such steps are necessary to limit the spread of the virus, and that the Netherlands has opted to align the standards as much as possible with the EU guideline of January 4.
"It is critical that we take travel precautions as part of the European Union's fight against COVID-19. "I have chosen to adopt the European line from the talks of the Council of the EU's Crisis Response (IPCR) with colleagues," the Minister stated in announcing the new limits.
Airlines travelling from China to the Netherlands will be required to tell passengers that they must pass a test in order to access Dutch territory, as well as the repercussions that they may face if they arrive in the Netherlands with negative test results.
Other precautions are also being taken by the country to keep the Coronavirus under control. COVID-19 self-tests will be distributed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, and passengers will be advised about the need of preventative actions.
At the same time, Dutch authorities are implementing an EU Commission suggestion to test wastewater from Chinese airports and aeroplane bathrooms in order to detect new forms of the virus.
A big proportion of EU countries have already put COVID-19 limitations on Chinese immigrants, with Italy topping the list by doing so on December 26 last year. Spain, Germany, France, and Sweden have all followed in their footsteps.
The reason for such steps is that the number of Coronavirus infections increased after China reopened its borders on December 7. The Dutch government believes that because the country kept its borders closed for three years, little immunity has developed, and as a result, people travelling from this country should be given special attention.
"At the moment, there are no indications of a new variation in China. "Omicron is prevalent in China, as it is in the Netherlands," the Ministry emphasises.
Nonetheless, it is noted that the consequences of infection are less severe in the Netherlands since, due to the huge number of fully vaccinated people, immunity is substantially higher among Dutch nationals and residents.
By fLEXI tEAM