As of June 15th, 16 European countries are allowing cross border travel and it is expected that another five will be added to this list on July 1st. Aside from the UK, Sweden and Turkey, the Covid-19 travel risk has been downgraded from ‘Code Orange’, only necessary travel advised, to “Code Yellow’, cautious travel allowed following local guidelines for social distancing and other safety practices. All countries are showing a sustained decline in new Covid-19 cases with the Netherlands reporting a 50% decline in hospitalizations and casualties over the past two weeks, despite large protests and gatherings throughout the country.
Airlines reopen routes
National and low-cost airlines continue to reopen routes throughout the network in Europe, and US carriers United and Delta have also announced increasing flights between the US and Europe, including Amsterdam. Airlines will even be allowed to sell middle seats when their air filtering systems are activated to help eliminate 99.8% of all airborne germs and viruses. While these measures are critical for safety and will also help with building consumer confidence, current traveler sentiment surveys continue to indicate that Europeans still prefer taking leisure vacations by car or RV this summer.
As school holidays in The Netherlands will begin early July and continue through early September, this is the traditional time for summer vacations, long-haul and extended travel. An uptick in travel planning and booking for this time period has brought needed relief to some of the Dutch travel industry. For others – especially our members of Visit USA – they continue to wait for significant improvement of the outbreak in the USA, followed by formal reopening of borders. When the US does decide to lift travel restrictions from Europe, open borders are dependent on the EU and individual governments also agreeing to lift travel bans from the US to Europe. But unfortunately there may be too many uncertainties for many Dutch consumers to consider travel to the US this summer season.