We took a little break from bringing you scheduled news earlier this summer, and we hope that you have been well and are finding ways to enjoy the summertime in your own way. In the Netherlands, school vacations are now drawing to a close and students will be back in school on September 1st, although the majority of lessons will be online through remote learning.

COVID-19 news in Europe

As the amount of new COVID cases, hospitalizations and death rate declined by 80% by the end of April, many European countries were able to open up their border for leisure travel over the past several months and begin to welcome travelers again. In an official statement from the Dutch RIVM (comparable with the American CDC), it was reported that no infection has been tracked to air travel, which was welcome news to both consumers and the travel community. Most of the new infections in the country have been traced to situations involving larger gatherings and not maintaining social distance guidelines when visiting friends and family. However, new spikes in infection rates in Spain and certain areas in southern France has caused the Dutch government to reclassify these travel destinations to a high risk (Code Orange) status with no travel allowed at this time.

The Dutch still want to travel

Avoiding busy places is challenging in a small country like the Netherlands, and vacationing elsewhere is highly appealing to the Dutch. The majority of Dutch citizens feel personally responsible to follow the rules and guidelines as advised by the government. People feel that when these rules are followed, there is no reason not to go on vacation. And travel shaming, specifically through social media as has been reported as trending in other countries, just isn’t an issue in The Netherlands.

What’s next?

Now the peak travel season has come to a close, another waiting game begins for the travel industry. Vakantiebeurs announced a new format for their annual consumer travel fair in January. But there are still a lot of uncertainties about the possibility of this event.

Meanwhile, the Dutch travel trade is hoping for another support package from the government, which will be critical particularly for those affected by the lack of long haul travel. It is expected that long haul travel might only be possible in early 2021, and the US perhaps even later in the spring. But consumers are still very eager to travel and they continue to dream and plan for their future trips.

Until next time, stay healthy and stay strong.