The Dutch king is taking a short vacation in Greece after...

The Dutch king is taking a short vacation in Greece after...
The Dutch king is taking a short vacation in Greece after...

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife canceled a vacation in Greece on Friday after being criticized for traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Dutch royal family pose during an official photo session in The Hague, the Netherlands, July 17, 2020. REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw / Pool

“We see people’s reactions to reports in the media,” said Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima in a statement released by the royal family late Friday.

“We don’t want to leave any doubt that it is necessary to follow the guidelines in order to get the COVID-19 virus under control. The discussion about our vacation doesn’t add to that. “

Although the king’s vacation in Greece didn’t violate any Dutch lockdown rules, including new restrictions put in place this week due to one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in Europe, the government has advised against unnecessary travel.

“This is unwise and incomprehensible,” the ANP news agency quoted D-66 legislature Joost Sneller, one of the coalition partners in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government coalition, when he spoke about the king’s vacation.

Rutte asked the nation in a televised address on Tuesday not to “test the limits of the rules”.

“You can go on vacation but then go to the place where you booked your vacation home or hotel room and not move,” said the Prime Minister. “If you go abroad, your options are limited as there are only a few countries that want us more.”

Willem-Alexander, who owns a private villa in southern Greece, traveled on a government jet, ANP reported.

The Netherlands reported nearly 8,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, a record.

Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima apologized after a previous vacation in Greece in August after a photo was posted violating social distancing guidelines on Milos Island.

Reporting from Toby Sterling; Arrangement by Toby Chopra and Chizu Nomiyama

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