January 28, 2021

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No majority in the House of Representatives for a flight ban from risk areas

No majority in the House of Representatives for a flight ban from risk areas

According to the SP and PvdD, the current test obligation for travelers from risk areas is not sufficient. “A negative test result of up to 72 hours is not enough guarantee that someone is not infected at the time of travel,” they wrote in their application.

Given the high number of infections in the Netherlands, it would not be justified to continue flights from risk areas. However, a majority in the House of Representatives thinks differently. Only PvdA, GroenLinks, D66 and 50Plus supported the movement.

This is good news for aviation as the government has designated almost the entire world as a high risk area. A flight ban in these areas would mean that a large proportion of passenger flights at Dutch airports would have to be canceled.

Restrict travel from South Africa
However, the House of Representatives backed a motion from GroenLinks, D66, and PvdA asking the cabinet to restrict direct and indirect travel from South Africa. The cabinet should present proposals there before the parliamentary debate next Wednesday.

A new, supposedly much more contagious variant of the coronavirus is circulating in South Africa. At the end of last year there was therefore a short flight ban for this country, which was replaced by a PCR test obligation after a few days.

No exception for transfer passengers who require a test
The House of Representatives approved the introduction of a PCR test obligation for all high-risk areas, as it has been in force since December 29, by a large majority. The legal basis for this had to be adjusted due to a class action lawsuit won by Virus Waarheid.

Especially against KLM’s aching leg, the obligation continues to apply to the transfer of passengers. This puts the company at a disadvantage compared to foreign competitors.