The Netherlands is the latest country to go into lockdown because of coronavirus

Monday, 16th March 2020, 3:46 pm
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 3:47 pm
This is what you need to know about the Netherlands entering lockdown (Photo: MARCEL VAN HOORN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus continuing to spread around the world, more and more cities and countries are beginning to enter lockdown mode in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

The latest to do so is the Netherlands, with their lockdown being announced by Dutch officials.

Entering lockdown

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) states that the Dutch authorities have now introduced a number of precautionary measures in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

On March 15, the Dutch government announced that anyone who is experiencing any symptoms linked to the virus, specifically a cough, cold, sore throat or fever, must remain indoors until their symptoms have passed.

“People are advised to stay at a recommended distance of 1.5m from each other in public. All bars, cafes and restaurants have been directed to close with immediate effect, although supermarkets will remain open,” the update from the FCO states.

The announcement also explains that public events with 100 or more attendees will be cancelled, which includes, but is not limited to, theatres, sporting events and church services.

Vulnerable people - like the elderly and those with underlying health problems - are urged to avoid public transport.

How long will these restrictions last?

The restrictions will remain in place until at least 6 April, which is what Educator Miniter Arie Slob said in a press conference.

“It has become clear that it was impossible for many schools to remain open, as many teachers are already sick at home and because of safety risks,” Slob said.

Healthcare Minister Bruno Brunis also said that additional measures are also likely.

Brunis said, “I am certain these will not be our last measures, the situation keeps developing very rapidly and we will keep deciding on further measures based on the knowledge of experts.

“I cannot speculate on what measures these will be, but it is clear that more will follow.”

These are the symptoms of coronavirus (Photo WHO)

Can I still travel to the Netherlands?

As it stands, flights to the Netherlands are still available to buy on travel sites like Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet.

Schiphol Airport, the main international airport of the Netherlands, announced that passenger flights from risk countries will be suspended. These countries are China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Flights to the above locations will be suspended until at least Friday 27 March.

“We advise all travellers who had planned to fly to any of these destinations to contact their airlines,” Schiphol announced.

If you were planning to fly to the Netherlands, you should get in touch with your travel provider to check if there have been any changes.