Travelling in the time of COVID-19

Varying degrees of travel restrictions have been put in place. Photo credit: slon_dot_pics (Pexels)

The last flights from Italy landed at Eindhoven Airport earlier this week. A lot of people are probably asking the same question – where are we allowed to travel to, for the moment?

Not the United States. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that the US would temporarily suspend most travel from the European Union (EU), which includes the Netherlands. These restrictions came into effect on Friday and are set to last for, at least, 30 days – so until 13 April.

And not to most parts of Italy – the Netherlands has imposed a ban on flights to and from this country. At Eindhoven Airport, Ryanair had already cancelled all its flights to this country on 3 March. Transavia soon followed suit. Ryanair announced that, until 31 March, it would waive the flight change fee for people whose travel plans have been affected by this COVID-19 outbreak.

What about other countries in the EU?

As for the rest of the EU, the Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a code yellow for some areas. This colour means travel is not restricted, but there is a safety risk. These countries are:

  • Denmark
  • France
  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • Most of Spain
  • Most of Austria
  • The Ticino region of Switzerland
  • Small scattered areas of Croatia

A code orange – travel only when strictly necessary – has been issued for the whole of the Czech Republic. According to the Department of Foreign Affair’s travel website, nederlandwereldwijd, most of Italy also falls into this category. In Spain, it is in force for the areas around, and including, Madrid, the Basque Country, and La Rioja.

Code red

There are only two areas in the EU that are designated code red. They should be avoided at all costs. In Italy, these are the Lombardy region, as well as the provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro-Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cussio Ossola, Vercelli, Padova, Treviso, and Venice. In Austria, people are advised not to go to the Paznaun Valley and St. Anton am Arlberg in Tyrol.

Travel remains unrestricted for the rest of the European Union. If you want to check whether it is safe to travel to a particular country, anywhere in the world, you can visit the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website. There you will also find the latest updates.

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs

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