Latest travel advice
Our latest travel advice aims to inform you about diseases and current disease outbreaks in specific areas or countries.
Hurricane Irma has caused major damage to several Caribbean islands. For the official travel advice for the affected areas, see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. First aid workers to the affected areas receive additional advice. Make an appointment at one of our Travel Clinics.
The zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. Since May 2015 the virus has spread to different areas in Latin America. In most cases, adults do not become seriously ill from an infection with the zika virus.
The virus can affect unborn babies: statistical evidence proofs a link between the virus and birth defects. The epidemic is decreasing in Latin America. The virus will probably stay in Latin-America just as in other continents. The virus already existed in Africa and South East-Asia. In all reported areas both the Dengue virus and Chikungunya also occur, since the same mosquitoes transmit these viruses.
Read more about the zika virus.
Previously, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia indicated on its website that the validity of the conjugate meningococcal ACW135Y vaccine for obtaining a visa had been changed from three years to eight. However, this has now been changed by the Ministry of Health to five years. This means that your vaccination certificate must show that the conjugate vaccine was administered no more than five years ago, but at least 10 days before your arrival in Saudi Arabia.
LCR (Netherlands’ National Coordination Centre for Travel) advice
The conjugate meningococcal ACW135Y vaccine, which is mandatory for people travelling to Mecca, is valid for five years.
There is a European shortage of the Hepatitis A vaccin. At this moment KLM Health Services does have the vaccin in stock and follows the guidelines of LCR.
In May 2017, during the 13th meeting of the Emergency Committee (WHO), vaccination advice pertaining to polio was again changed. Despite the progress that’s been made during the past three years, polio has still not been eradicated. The WHO has therefore amended the policy for polio vaccinations applicable to people travelling to endemic regions: irrespective of whether the disease might be spread from these countries, the vaccination is now mandatory. Update international spread of the wild polio virus (source: PAHO/WHO).
In order to leave the country again, all people planning to travel and stay for more than four weeks in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Nigeria must recently have received a polio (dTP) vaccination. This vaccination must have been administered between at least four weeks, but no more than 12 months, before leaving one of these countries. If the vaccination was administered more than 12 months ago, the dTP vaccination must be administered on location and the traveller must then remain in the country for at least four weeks before he or she can leave. For these countries this vaccination is mandatory (an International Health Regulation, IHR). Proof that the vaccination has been administered must be stamped in the “International Certificate of Immunisation and Prophylaxis” (on pages 8 and 9 of the “yellow booklet”).
To prevent yellow fever from spreading and/or resulting into major outbreaks, the WHO established vaccination guidelines for people travelling to or from yellow fever areas. These guidelines are applied in countries worldwide. Travellers may get vaccination advice at the border or will be obliged to get vaccinated when entering a country. Often measures are linked to the whereabouts of the traveller in the period prior to entering the country.
Several countries have indicated that they (will) intensify the border checks on whether travellers have followed up on current vaccination advice. Uganda currently checks all travellers entering the country on a valid yellow fever vaccination.
The stricter yellow fever vaccination checks at certain borders may lead to travellers being denied entry into the country, for example if they do not meet the vaccination requirements imposed by that particular country. In these cases, travellers can either be sent back or are given a vaccination, which may include a mandatory quarantine assertion of ten days before they are granted permission to travel.
Several countries require proof of a yellow fever vaccination after you have made a stopover in a country where yellow fever occurs. Please check this page at least ten days prior to departure for the current statuses per country. This will avoid problems at the border. Some countries require vaccinations to have been administered at least 10 days before travel, before granting you access.
03-31-2017: Due to a yellow fever outbreak, yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for all travellers to Suriname.
Possible outbreaks of yellow fever have been reported in several states of Brazil. If you are travelling to the outbreak regions of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Sao Paolo and Bahia you are advised to get yourself vaccinated against yellow fever. If you received a yellow fever vaccination more than 10 years ago, you are advised to get a revaccination. The WHO reports that the outbreak area in Brazil is now spreading towards the Atlantic Ocean. Cases have also been reported in the state of Rio de Janeiro, although not in the cities (Rio de Janeiro and Niterói). If you are travelling to the state of Rio de Janeiro you are therefore also advised to get yourself vaccinated against yellow fever.
Popular and sunny countries such as Croatia, Turkey and Morocco are ideal destinations to spend your summer holiday. These destinations are often booked last minute, for example when the Dutch weather disappoints. Often, it is not considered that infectious diseases such as Jaundice (Hepatitis A) still prevail in these countries. A vaccination protects you. Please prepare your journey well and check our Travel advice by destination.
Since March 12, 2017, cases of malaria have been reported in South Africa, in areas where malaria is not usually transmitted. This is the case in areas of the Limpopo Province, North West Province, and Gauteng Province. If you (plan to) visit areas in these provinces where malaria is not usually found, please take anti-mosquito measures. In case of a fever that lasts longer than 24 hours, malaria must be excluded. This is the case until at least one month after returning home.
Different types of avian flu (also known as bird flu) still exist in several parts of Asia, including Indonesia and China. Some of these types of flu can be serious – or even fatal. People predominantly get bird flu through close contact with infected birds (waterfowl, poultry). People who contract bird flu are almost always local inhabitants who have close contact with poultry. Travellers rarely get bird flu. Nevertheless, travellers to Southeast Asia and the Far East are advised to avoid contact with poultry and other birds, to not visit any markets where these animals are traded, and to make sure that food containing poultry or eggs is properly processed and heated through and through. Furthermore, it is strictly forbidden to bring back animals and said food products to the Netherlands (!)
Since September 2012, there has been an outbreak of a new type of coronavirus, named Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (in short: MERS-CoV). Coronaviruses can cause respiratory infection. An infection with MERS-CoV can cause severe pneumonia that may be accompanied by other, milder symptoms. So far, 1,179 cases of infection have been reported worldwide, the majority of which by Saudi Arabia. Most other reported patients were infected in Middle Eastern countries. Up until now, 442 people have died, often elderly and people suffering from chronic conditions and/or immune system disorders. It is not yet entirely clear how people contract the virus, however it is suspected that dromedary camels in the Middle East carry and transfer MERS-CoV. Transfer from human to human is rare, but infections have occurred in hospitals. This is often attributable to insufficient application of hygiene measures.
Outbreak in South Korea
Currently an outbreak of MERS is reported in South Korea with a total number of 30 confirmed cases, two of which were fatal. The outbreak is related to the Middle East, since its first patient contracted the disease while visiting Bahrain. The patient transmitted the virus to some others in a few hospitals. To contain the outbreak some 700 people who may have had contact with an infected person have been tracked down and are now kept under observation by the government.
Advice for travellers
People with chronic conditions or a reduced resistance are advised to avoid contact with dromedary camels and other animals in regions that have reported cases of MERS infection. We advise all travellers to observe general hygiene measures: wash your hands frequently, especially after visiting the toilet, before you eating and after contact with animals. All travellers are recommended not to have contact with sick animals and not to eat or drink raw animal products in the regions concerned. If you have any questions, please call our special vaccination advice line, via: 0900 1091 096. We are happy to help you personally.
The ebola outbreak in West Africa has ended. The countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been declared ebola-free by the WHO. Sierra Leone was declared ebola-free on 7 November 2015, Guinea on 29 December 2015 and Liberia on 14 January 2016. Sporadic flare-ups of the disease have been reported, but thanks to increased vigilance in the region these are not a problem. Research into establishing a vaccine against ebola is in full swing and the results so far have been encouraging. For more information go to WHO and LCR. And if you have any questions you can call our special vaccination advisory line at 0900 109 109 6. We’ll be pleased to give you personal advice.
Travel advice Foreign Affairs
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advice helps you prepare for safety risks during your stay abroad. The advice, for example, tells you which regions are safe and to which regions you should not travel. Sometimes there are security risks. If this is the case, please be alert or, preferably, only travel to the country concerned if genuinely necessary. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a new central telephone number for travellers, which can be reached 24/7. Please call: +31247247247.