What does the current situation in China mean for the Netherlands?

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Since early December 2022, when China rolled back much of its strict COVID-19 policy, the virus has been spreading rapidly across China. The situation has been discussed at European Union level once more. It is vital that European countries adopt a uniform approach to travel restrictions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That is why the Netherlands has decided to adopt the stance taken by the EU following a meeting of the Council of the European Union's Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) mechanism.

As a result, from 10 January 2023, travellers arriving from China whose final destination is the Netherlands are still welcome but, as an extra precaution, they must have a negative test result. In addition, and with immediate effect, people travelling on flights to and from China are urgently advised to wear a medical face mask. Travellers arriving from China at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport will also still receive a free self-test and instructions on how to use it. These measures are being introduced well in advance of Chinese New Year, when a peak in arrivals from China is expected.

The situation is being closely monitored. See the latest weekly figures published by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) . The coronavirus thermometer also shows potential effects on healthcare and society. There is currently no reason to adjust the thermometer, so it remains on 1. Among other measures, analysis of wastewater around Schiphol is being stepped up to detect any changes in the virus and rapidly identify new variants. The possibility of analysing wastewater from the toilets of aircraft arriving from China to check for virus mutations is also being explored.

Travel advice (which remains at yellow level) has also been tightened for outbound passengers. Travellers to China should be aware of the healthcare situation in the country. Check the latest travel advice for China before you travel (information in Dutch).

These measures are being taken to monitor the virus and to help detect any new variants. The updated vaccines used for repeat vaccinations are effective against the prevalent Omicron variant. There are currently no indications that a new variant is circulating and there is therefore no reason to believe that vaccines have become less effective.

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