The Netherlands lifts travel ban for unvaccinated UK visitors, while Hong Kong may ease Covid rules

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The Netherlands has become the latest major Western European country to lift its ban on British travelers not considered fully vaccinated against Covid.

Until this weekend, visitors from outside the EU were only allowed to travel to Amsterdam and the rest of the country if they had followed a series of stings in the last 270 days, or had subsequently received a callback at any time.

But the government suddenly dropped the requirement, citing “the current epidemiological situation in the Netherlands”.

A statement from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport said: “The Dutch government has decided to lift the EU entry ban for the Netherlands as of September 17, 2022.

“No restrictions or requirements related to Covid-19 apply to travelers entering the Netherlands, including those from countries outside the EU/Schengen area.”

But the government warns: “If you visit the Netherlands and you test positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate.

“If you booked your trip through a tour operator, contact them if you need to self-isolate due to a positive test.

“If you are traveling independently, you should plan a place to self-isolate.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Netherlands imposed unusual rules, including requiring foreign visitors to get tested daily to gain access to cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions.

On social distancing, the Ministry of Health specifies: “It is no longer compulsory to stay 1.5 meters from others. But it remains a safe distance. So give others enough space.

Luxembourg and Slovakia still ban unvaccinated visitors from outside the European Union. Spain – the most popular destination for British travelers – requires tourists who have not been completely bitten to take a Covid test before their trip.

Beyond Europe, there are strong indications that Hong Kong may finally be relaxing its requirement for all arrivals to self-quarantine at a hotel for three days, followed by four days of medical surveillance – during which arrival cannot enter “high-risk premises” or visit places like restaurants where masks are not worn.

The South China Morning Post reports that official sources are set to drop the rule, instead asking visitors to monitor their own health for the first week.

The current requirement for multiple PCR tests could also be dropped, the sources said.

Tourism in Hong Kong has plummeted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and the city’s airline, Cathay Pacific, is operating only a small portion of its pre-Covid flights.

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