UK almost locked up, advice to stranded Dutch people: find safe accommodation | NOW


Travelers from the United Kingdom are banned by many surrounding countries. Due to the mutation of the corona virus that is currently circulating widely in the United Kingdom, they are no longer allowed to leave the country by plane, boat and train. Dutch nationals stranded in the United Kingdom are advised by the cabinet to seek safe accommodation for the coming days.

On Sunday, the cabinet announced a ban on flights from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands. The measure applies up to and including 1 January. Travelers from the United Kingdom can no longer reach our country by train and ferry either. Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy, among others, have taken similar measures.

For Dutch people who are unable to leave the UK because of the new variant of the corona virus, the cabinet is looking at options to help them. “Especially for compassionate cases.” This is stated in a letter to Parliament 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, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides (consular) assistance to stranded travelers.

It is not clear how many Dutch people are currently in the UK.

Travelers stranded in English ports

Travelers who wanted to travel by ferry from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands were stranded in English ports on Sunday evening. Ferry services DFDS (between IJmuiden and Newcastle), Stena Line (between Hook of Holland and Harwich) and P&O Ferries (between Hull and Rotterdam) have been shut down. At the request of the ministry, the municipalities of Rotterdam and Velsen have decided to no longer admit passengers from the UK.

Travelers report via NUjij that they had already bought tickets, but were subsequently not allowed on the ferry. In other cases travelers were already on board, but the ferry was not allowed to leave. They then had to come back ashore.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management wants to continue the transport of essential goods. That is why trucks with goods are allowed to cross the sea.

The Eurotunnel between the UK and France has been closed to all trains from the UK since Sunday evening. As a result, Eurostar trains cannot run to and from London. Belgium also keeps its borders closed to travelers from the United Kingdom for 24 hours.

It is still possible to travel with a ferry to the United Kingdom, according to Stena Line.

British government meets Monday for crisis talks

In the coming days, various EU member states will discuss the situation surrounding the mutation of the corona virus and how its spread can be contained.

British 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 spokesman said.

Because of the more contagious variant that has the country in its grip, according to the British, the British can hardly go abroad anymore. Many European countries are currently not accepting flights and ferries from the United Kingdom.

According to Johnson’s spokeswoman, they are working hard to make “decisive plans”.

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