Stranded Dutch people in the United Kingdom are advised by the government to find safe accommodation for the coming days, while waiting for opportunities to return to their home country. For Dutch people who cannot leave the UK due to the new variant of the corona virus, the government is looking into ways to help them. “Especially for compassionate cases.”
This is stated in a letter from Ministers Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure), Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) and Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice) that was sent to the Lower House on Sunday evening.
Where possible and necessary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers (consular) assistance to stranded travelers.
Due to the mutation of the coronavirus that is currently circulating widely in the United Kingdom, the government announced a flight ban on flights to the Netherlands until January 1. Passengers can no longer reach our country by train and ferry either.
It is not clear how many Dutch people are currently in the UK.
Travelers stranded in English ports
Travelers who wanted to travel to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom by ferry were stranded in English ports on Sunday evening. Ferry service DFDS sails between IJmuiden and Newcastle, Stena Line between Hook of Holland and Harwich. The P&O Ferries ferry service, which sails between Hull and Rotterdam, has also stopped. The municipalities of Rotterdam and Velsen have decided to no longer allow passengers from the UK, at the request of the ministry.
Travelers report via NUjij that they had already bought tickets, but were not allowed to step on board. In other cases travelers had already boarded a ferry, but it was not allowed to depart and had to come back ashore.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management does want to allow the transport of essential goods to continue. That is why trucks with goods are allowed to cross the sea.
The Eurotunnel between the UK and France has also been closed for all trains from the United Kingdom since Sunday evening. As a result, Eurostar trains can no longer run to and from London. Also because Belgium will then close its borders to travelers from the United Kingdom for 24 hours.
British government meets Monday for crisis talks
In the coming days, various EU member states will discuss the situation surrounding the mutation of the coronavirus and how they can further stem its spread.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government are holding crisis talks on Monday as more and more countries are banning flights from the United Kingdom. Freight transport is high on the agenda, his spokeswoman said.
In connection with the more contagious corona variant that the country has in its grip, according to the British, British can hardly go anywhere. Many European countries are no longer accepting flights from the United Kingdom for the time being. In addition to the Netherlands, these include Belgium, France and Germany.
According to Johnson’s spokeswoman, hard work is being done to have “robust plans” ready on Monday.