For now, the Royal Netherlands Navy will not set sail again, unless it is strictly necessary. This has been decided by the Dutch Ministry of Defence after coronavirus outbreaks on various ships.
All exercises have been cancelled for the time being. ‘However, the crew members ashore are working on their readiness as much as possible. In the event of a crisis, they will therefore still be deployable,’ says the Ministry.
If a ship has to set sail, strict quarantine regulations apply. Those measures were tightened up last week, after four ships returned the previous week with outbreaks on board.
The Ministry of Defence reported on Tuesday 9 February that ‘several dozen’ crew members had been infected. At the time, it was reported that no one was seriously ill.
Earlier Covid-19 outbreaks
The Dutch navy has been affected by Covid-19 a few times in the past year. In October, the virus was detected on four naval ships. And in March, crew members of a submarine were found to be infected.