Word of Managers: Pauline Son – A warm Welcome

A warm Welcome

Probably the most shocking news in Dutch history in decades was the violence in some cities after the curfew was introduced last Saturday night. Not the atmosphere one would expect in our country.

An unforeseen reaction of certain groups of young people after a period of nine months in which the Dutch government gradually increased the measures to protect its citizens against the spreading of the Coronavirus.  Not a very appealing situation for anyone who is planning to move to the Netherlands. It is reassuring that the police are on top of it, and that the rioting was contained to certain areas in certain cities, and did not occur in the entire country. The Dutch population has jointly taken action via crowdfunding to collect money for shops that were damaged during the rioting. After three evenings filled with incidents, luckily, things have started to slow down.

So far, the Netherlands has gone through two coronavirus waves. During the first, in March 2020, we introduced the “intelligent“ lockdown. Our government chose the approach of trying ‘to control’, and asked the citizens to take their own responsibility as well instead of forcing strong restrictions on them. It seemed to work and more freedom was given back to the people. Unfortunately, during the summer, the Dutch probably grew too confident that the threat was under control, which caused a surge in new cases and resulted in a second wave. During the second wave, regulations became more strict. This, for example, started with restaurants having to close at 10pm, to a partial lockdown in November. Gyms were closed, restaurants and bars closed, all cultural events were cancelled and people were strongly encouraged to work from home.

To avoid a third wave, additional measures have been taken to control the spread of the virus. The Netherlands has now been in total lockdown since December 15th, and is scheduled to remain in lockdown until at least February 9th. All non-essential shops are closed, as well as the restaurants, bars, schools, daycare centers, etc. People are asked to stay at home, to have only one visitor per day, and to work from home unless this is not possible. Additionally, starting January 23rd, a curfew has been introduced which is for now scheduled to remain active until February 4th. For more examples of the current measures, please see an official summary on the Dutch government’s website: https://www.government.nl/documents/publications/2021/01/20/coronavirus-factsheet-lockdown-further-tightened

As we mentioned in one of our newsletters in December, the arrival of internationals will be very different than it was a year ago. The recently introduced flight ban for the UK, South Africa and many countries from South Africa makes travelling to the Netherlands currently impossible for nationals from these locations.

Luckily though, for countries to which no flight ban applies but which are considered high-risk countries, one can still move to the Netherlands, as the travel restrictions do not apply to highly skilled migrants who intend to work in the Netherlands longer than 3 months and the majority of other foreign nationals who plan to move to the Netherlands for work. They do need to have been tested with a negative corona result 72 hours before arrival in addition to a rapid antigen test not older than 4hours prior to departure, and have to respect a ten-day quarantine after arrival.

Dutch society has developed many initiatives to make the best of this time. Delicious take away menu’s and home delivery services from restaurants, window shopping with delivery at home by shop owners, outdoor coffee pickup points in cities and at the entrance of nature parks. And the high quality of the internet makes working at home convenient. Vaccinations have started on January 8th, and we hope that the entire population will be protected by the end of the upcoming Summer.

Within Expat Management Group, our Immigration team is continuously updated about the changing immigration regulations and is able to advise per day on how to best approach the application for a new arrival. Our Relocation team offers fully flexible support, meeting the needs of each individual with or without family. Temporary housing providers, real estate agents, schools, and banks are all offering adjusted support within their capabilities to enable a smooth arrival.

Together we make sure, with professional advice and dedicated personalized support, to still give a warm welcome to the Netherlands. It is wonderful to see that most of our clients continue to schedule international transfers. We hope to see many more new internationals coming this Spring.

Our team remains available to advise you and to give new arrivals a warm welcome!

Pauline Son, Director Operations & Sales 

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