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Travel policy relaxed as of 25 January: certain code orange countries allowed

25 January 2022

The Executive Board has decided that as of 25 January, students may undertake study-related activities in certain countries that are classified as code orange according to Dutch government travel advice.

What are the changes?

The university’s International Incident Team has evaluated all code orange countries according to a fixed set of criteria. These include, for example, whether the country has a good infrastructure (including its healthcare system) and whether students can gain access to sufficient help in case of an emergency.

On the basis of these criteria, the International Incident Team has drawn up two lists of code orange countries that students can, or may be able to travel to: 

  • Approved code orange countries: countries that you may travel to without requesting special permission from the International Incident Team (IIT).
  • Conditional code orange countries: countries that you can request special permission to travel to from the IIT in the following exceptional circumstances:
    • your trip is considered essential by the person/department responsible for approving your activity abroad (for example your international exchange coordinator), or
    • your destination is your home country and you are a national of that country, or
    • your parent(s) or guardian(s) live in your destination country and are on hand to help you out if required.

On the Study Abroad – Health and Safety pages you can find out which countries are on which list and how you can request permission from the IIT.

Why is the policy being relaxed?

The university has long realised the importance of once again allowing its students to gain international experience. Until December 2021, it was expected that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would amend its travel advice to make it clear whether countries are allocated a particular colour code as a result of the corona situation, or due to other reasons. These anticipated changes would have given students greater opportunities to go abroad. However, it has since become apparent that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not plan to amend its travel advice in this way. As a result, the university has decided to relax its own travel policy in a responsible manner. 

This is of course good news for students who can now travel to code orange destinations due to the relaxing of the rules. However, we realise that the decision may come as a bitter pill for students who have already had to cancel their study abroad plans for the coming period. The pandemic has made it necessary for the university to continually adjust its policies, both from the perspective of our duty of care to students and on the basis of the information currently available to us. If you have already had to cancel your study abroad plans, we advise you to speak to your study adviser and international exchange coordinator about what this might mean in terms of your study plan.

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