Holland will allow long-distance couples separated by travel ban to reunite if they show a ‘love contract’ at border
- The ‘contract’ must show the relationship has lasted for more than three months
- It will allow couples who have not seen each-other in months to be reunited
- Lovers from outside the EU will be able to stay for up to 90 days at a time
- The loosening of restrictions in The Netherlands will take effect from July 27
Couples in long-distance relationships forced to stay separated by the EU’s coronavirus travel ban will be allowed to reunite in The Netherlands, if they show a ‘love contract’ to Dutch border guards.
The ‘contract’ will have to demonstrate that a couple’s relationship has lasted longer than three months for the person that has been abroad outside of the EU to be allowed to enter the country.
However, anyone who is found to have lied on the signed statement could be charged with perjury, and failure to show a return ticket to border guards could result in detainment and deportation.
Couples in long distance relationships, with one partner living outside of the EU, will be able to reunite under The Netherlands’ ‘love contract’ scheme, which will allow long-distance couples who have been together for over three months to spend 90-days in the country together. Above, a couple is reunited on July 1, file photo
The Netherlands is enforcing the EU’s ban on non-essential travel into the bloc from non-EU citizens, which was introduced across the region in March.
For those with partners living outside of the EU, the travel ban has meant it has been months since they have been able to see one-another.
Ferd Grapperhaus, the justice and security minister, told the Dutch parliament the visitor’s partner must be legally resident in the Netherlands and have seen them regularly before the coronavirus pandemic.
Lovers from outside the EU can only stay for up to 90 days every three months and, if travelling from a higher-risk country, may have to quarantine for two weeks.
The ‘love contract’ will have to prove to border guards at airports in The Netherlands that the relationship in question has lasted longer than three months for them to be allowed to enter the country. Anyone who is found to have lied on the signed statement, could be charged with perjury. Pictured above, Amsterdam’s Schipol airport
‘I’m convinced that if people arrive with malicious intentions that authorities will pick up on it,’ Mr Grapperhaus told the NOS broadcaster.
Ferd Grapperhaus, pictured, the justice and security minister, told the Dutch parliament the visitor’s partner must be legally resident in the Netherlands
He warned that if the Covid-19 crisis worsened, the exemption for long-term, long-distance couples could be reversed.
The loosening of restrictions, which already applies to married couples, will take effect from July 27, the NLTimes website reported.
It was announced after calls from hundreds of lovelorn Dutch residents for a ‘sweetheart visa’, which has been introduced in Austria and Denmark.
Neighbouring Belgium has not introduced a similar exemption, despite the issue being discussed at this week’s meeting of the National Security Council on coronavirus.
‘I am angry and frustrated that there still is a lack of urgency and understanding on the side of our government,’ Hannah Maes told The Brussels Times.
Ms Maes, 25, has not seen her American girlfriend, who lives in New York, since January.
‘The devil is in the details: where do you draw the line, how do you prove you are in love, how do you prevent abuse?’ Marc Van Ranst, a prominent virologist, told the De Standaard newspaper.
Non-essential travel within the EU has been allowed since June 15.
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