Schiphol places great value on the health and safety of employees and travellers who pass through our airport. Schiphol has taken various measures to promote social distancing. To increase awareness, Schiphol has:
- Created extra space for queues so that travellers can easily create distance from each other. Ticketing and check-in desks, transfer counters and arrival points are demarcated by barrier tape or stanchion ropes to show 1.5-metres of distance, so that travellers can account for the extra distance.
- Placed messages on social media and on-screen, as well as made broadcasts in the terminals, to ask all travellers to maintain an appropriate distance from each other and from airport staff
- Given a separate baggage belt to each flight, so travellers are spread across the baggage reclaim area. Schiphol has also asked travellers to adhere to the distancing rules in Arrivals.
- Customs maintains intensive checks on so-called ‘100% control flights’, which arrive at Schiphol from destinations such as the Caribbean. They use special facilities in the baggage basement and baggage reclaim areas for these flights. These facilities were only available on baggage band 22. We have worked hard to spread these processes, so from now these will also be handled on a separate belt for those flights. We also depend on the efforts of travellers to ensure that they maintain a safe 1.5-metre distance from other travellers.
Of course, we are also dependent on the efforts of travellers themselves. Therefore, we have strongly urged them to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres at all times.
The Dutch government has announced that entry restrictions will be tightened for non-EU citizens who wish to travel to the Netherlands as of 18:00 on Thursday 19 March, 2020. The travel restrictions do not apply to EU citizens (including citizens of the United Kingdom) and their family members, as well as citizens from Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and their family members, among other exceptions. There are some additional exceptions in addition to the aforementioned countries. We advice non-EU citizens who plan to travel to the Netherlands in the near future to see here if any of these exceptions apply to their situation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that all Dutch citizens avoid all non-essential travel abroad over the coming period. This recommendation was prompted by the potential impact of foreign government measures on Dutch passengers rather than health concerns.
The Ministry offers the following advice for passengers: postpone or cancel your trip where possible. If you are currently abroad, check whether your stay is essential and whether you have any options to travel back home. Contact your airline or travel organisation for more information.
Passenger numbers attest to the impact of the coronavirus. The number of passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was down 38% on Friday and down 41% on Saturday. In view of recent developments, this percentage will continue to rise over the next few weeks. Many countries have introduced inbound travel restrictions for travellers arriving from countries where coronavirus has been identified. New measures cannot be ruled out. The situation for a country or region is liable to change rapidly. Various airlines have cancelled their flights to and from Schiphol or will be operating scaled-down services for the time being. We would advise travellers to contact their travel agent or airline.
13th March, 18.00 PM
The government decided today that passengers flights from risk countries will be suspended. These countries are mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea. Schiphol carries out almost 700 flights to these countries every week. These measures will come into effect from 18:00 tonight until at least Friday 27 March. We advise all travelers who had planned to fly to any of these destinations to contact their airlines.
12th March, 18.00 AM
The corona virus has created a unique situation at Schiphol and in the Netherlands at large. The virus is hitting everyone hard. Schiphol’s passenger numbers went down by 20% in the first week of March. That number increases to 30% if all flights to and from the United States cease. We are developing various scenarios so we can prepare for a number of different situations at the airport.
"Our responsibility is to the Netherlands to keep Schiphol running and for it to remain connected to the rest of the world. Schiphol is a vital part of our country’s infrastructure. We are keeping a close eye on developments and respond very quickly as and when they happen. Schiphol, the government, airlines and partners are working together on additional scenarios going forward, such as operating Schiphol at a smaller scale. We are doing this in a responsible manner with careful attention given to travellers and employees”, said Dick Benschop, CEO.
12th March, 09.00 AM
The United States will introduce a 30 day entry ban during the night of Friday, March 13 to Saturday March 14 on 04.59 am for anyone who has been in a Schengen (page in Dutch only) country in the past 14 days, except for American citizens. This will have an impact on Schiphol. There are weekly more than 200 flight from Schiphol to the United States. We are now mapping out, together with the airlines, what this means exactly for flights to the U.S. We kindly advice travellers to contact their airline if they are due to travel.
"Our first priority today is informing travellers – that is step one. We are also currently making an inventory of the further consequences, which naturally will affect the Netherlands' network. We expect this to be discussed with the government," said CEO Dick Benschop in a reaction to the news.
A traveller has tested positive for the corona virus after their arrival at Schiphol Airport. This person is currently being assessed and supervised by the Gezondheidsdienst (Municipal Health Services, or GGD) following nationally-established protocols. The GGD is now mapping who this person has been in contact with. Schiphol is following GGD’s advice about the corona virus. At this time, based on GGD’s advice, there is no need for other measures to be taken.Here are the measures that are currently still in effect:
- A message from RIVM/GGD will appear on the screens near baggage claim which will be seen by travellers that arrive from areas where the corona virus is present. That message will contain general information as well as what to do if the traveller has symptoms.
- We advise all travellers and staff to prioritise general hygiene, just as you would with any other flu virus. That includes washing hands, sneezing or coughing on the inside of your elbow, and/or using paper tissues.
- We have informed our partners, such as handling agents, retailers and airlines, about the measures and ask them to share them with their employees. We also work closely with our partners in the sector, such as airlines, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands and Royal Netherlands Marechaussee.
- We are well prepared and have developed various scenarios.
The health and safety of staff and passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is very important to us. On the evening of Thursday 27 February, the first cases of coronavirus in the Netherlands was announced. In conjunction with authorities such as the Municipal Health Service (GGD) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), we are keeping a close eye on developments. We consult with these parties daily about the situation and the measures taken. We are following their advice and sharing it with colleagues and other parties at the airport, including airlines, ground handlers and retailers. No other measures are currently being taken in addition to the previous measures. Schiphol is prepared and has developed various scenarios and contingency plans. These detail such things as the actions to be taken if an infected person arrives in the Netherlands at Schiphol. The scenarios dovetail with all preparations being made within the Netherlands.
As recommended by the GGD, we are also recommending that staff and passengers abide by the general hygiene measures, which would apply in the case of other flu viruses as well. We have posted a message on this topic from the RIVM/GGD on the screens near the baggage belts for passengers arriving from areas with significant numbers of coronavirus cases. Since the beginning of February, we have been organising walk-in sessions for employees in which they can ask a GGD staff member questions about the virus and their work situation. In addition, in collaboration with the GGD, we have also organised a meeting for airlines to inform them about the state of affairs at Schiphol.
Passengers who have questions about their flight as a result of the coronavirus are advised to contact their airline. Furthermore we answer in this blog post the most frequently asked questions about Schiphol and coronavirus.
Schiphol attaches great value to the health of employees and passengers at Schiphol. This is why we are closely monitoring developments with regard to the corona virus and keeping in regular contact with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Public Health Service (GGD). We are following their advice and also sharing this with colleagues and other parties at the airport, including airlines, handlers and retailers. It is advised to observe general hygiene measures: wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze in the inside of your elbow and use paper handkerchiefs.
Dutch authorities asked us to inform arriving passengers from China via the information screens in the reclaim baggage halls, to increase alertness and inform them what to do if they get complaints.