6 December 2021

Taking the kids on holiday in corona time

By Dylan Bertsch

Many divorced parents would like to take their children abroad this holiday.

As always, this requires the consent of the other parent with authority. Do you have to take into account the colour codes set by the Dutch government? I will go into more detail about this in this blog.

What do the colour codes mean?

The Dutch government has the following colour codes for countries:

  • green: you can travel;
  • yellow: beware, there are risks;
  • orange: only necessary trips; and
  • red: do not travel.

Even before corona dominated our lives, the above country colour codes were used for travel. The security risk – think of a war, political situation or natural disaster – is an important facet in this respect. Another aspect is the health risk and that plays a major role during this corona period. Over the past year and a half, it has become apparent that the colour code yellow is used when the corona situation in the country concerned is under control. If this is not the case or if there is a corona outbreak, the colour code regularly changes to orange.

Which countries can I travel to with my child?

In principle, you can travel to any country with your child. The colour codes and the accompanying travel advice are not binding and you are responsible for your own safety and the choice to travel to a country. As always, you do need the consent of the other parent with authority.

What if the other parent does not give his or her consent?

If the other parent does not give his or her consent, it is possible to file a request for substitute consent at a court. The other parent may then oppose this, after which the court will make a decision on your request for substitute consent to travel to a certain country for a holiday. Such proceedings are usually short-lived, partly because a decision is often called for in haste.

Is the corona situation in a country a reason not to give permission?

I have been getting this question regularly lately. There are now also enough judgments to be found in which courts have considered this question. Usually only the colour codes yellow and orange are discussed. The line to be drawn from this is that courts will grant the substitution consent request if the colour code is yellow, but deny it if the colour code is orange; a vacation is not a necessary journey. However, the above is not a license to use the corona situation in the country in question with the colour code orange as a reason for not granting permission.


If you have any questions about your personal situation after reading this blog, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dylan Bertsch

Dylan Bertsch

Lawyer and mediator

Dylan Bertsch specializes in family law and is a committed and passionate lawyer and mediator.

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