IMPORTANT: COVID-19 update
For the most recent COVID-19 measures, please visit the website of the Dutch government: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands
The Time Zone in Maastricht is often referred to as Central European Time (CET) or Amsterdam/Brussels time. Until October the Netherlands and many other countries in Europe are using Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is UTC+02:00. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is effectively a successor to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). A very helpful time converter can be found here: https://www.timeanddate.com
Telephones International dialing codes
The international dialing code of the Netherlands is +31.
Dutch is the official language in the Netherlands but English is widely spoken.
The official language of the conference is English.
Long-year average temperature during the end of September:
- minimum temperature of 10.2°C,
- maximum temperature of 17.7°C.
We recommend bringing some wet-weather gear for the occasional rain shower.
The standard electricity voltage in the Netherlands is 230 volts AC, 50Hz (hotel bathrooms may also have outlets for 100 volts). The electrical outlets in the Netherlands take two-pronged, round-pin plugs. We recommend that you purchase an adaptor for your electrical equipment prior to your arrival.
Drinking water (tap water) quality in the Netherlands is safe.
Distances in Maastricht are given in kilometres (km). 1 mile = 1.62 km.
The temperature in the Netherlands is given in degrees Celsius. Conversion Celsius to Fahrenheit: multiply Celsius by 1.8 and add 32 to convert to degrees Fahrenheit.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for non-EU citizens for entry into the Netherlands and the EU. An identity card is sufficient for citizens of EU member states. Participants requiring a visa for entry to the Netherlands are strongly advised to make their application in their home countries at least two months before the intended date of travel. For special details please consult the Netherlands consulate nearest to you.
All participants, accompanying persons, and exhibitors must wear the conference identification badge. Entrance to meeting halls, poster and exhibition area will not be permitted to any person without a badge.
In emergency situations, you can contact the local police, ambulance service, fire department and other emergency services by calling 112.
Should you need to see a doctor or a dentist, we recommend contacting your hotel’s reception desk who will direct you to the medical professionals assigned to the hotel. If immediate medical attention is required, call the emergency services at 112. Emergency medical services (including transportation by ambulance) are not free of charge, you will be billed for any services rendered. However, your health insurance can possibly reimburse you these expenses later (see also the next item).
There are no specific health risks associated with travel to the Netherlands. Ensure to have coverage by your own health insurance and bring necessary documents on the trip. If you are a European citizen from one of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the Netherlands.
We recommend that you check before you travel the coverage of your medical insurance in countries outside of your home country. Often, the health insurance plans give basic insurance that insures for visits to a general practitioner, hospital and medication.
The monetary unit is the Euro (EUR or €). Banknotes are printed in values of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500; and coins in values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Euro cent, and €1 and €2. If changing currency or drawing money from cash dispensers (ATMs), it is recommended to request also some smaller value banknotes (€5, €10 and €20) as it can be difficult to pay a small amount by a banknote of €50.
It is advised against taking larger banknotes than €50, as it can happen that these notes may not be accepted in some shops and restaurants, because of shop’s fear that this could be counterfeit money. You can withdraw cash with your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) or bank card (Maestro or Cirrus) card at any ATM.
If your country of residence is outside of the Netherlands, you may qualify for a sales-tax refund for purchases. You need to request a form for your refund at the shop when making your purchase.
Availability of credit cards
You will come across Visa and MasterCard in most shops, restaurants and hotels. American Express and Diners credit cards are less frequently available. Therefore check the availability of your credit card before starting shopping or ordering meals in a restaurant.
At better quality restaurants it is possible that you will be charged a cover charge of 1 to 3 euros per person. Regardless of the cover charge, when paying the bill in restaurants, most people choose to add a few Euro, but you can of course leave more money for excellent service.
Tipping taxi drivers is not usual but appreciated, for example, if you feel you are getting exceptionally good service, such as assistance with luggage.
Most people prefer to round up to the closest Euro to avoid handling small changes.
ATMs (cash), using Credit cards and Bank cards
ATMs (cash dispensers) are widely available throughout Maastricht and most are open 24 hours a day. Souvenir and clothing stores accept major credit cards. However grocery stores, cafes and some restaurants may not always accept credit card payments, but they always accept bank card payments (Maestro or Cirrus) or cash.
The organisation reserves the right to alter or cancel without notice parts of the conference due to reasons beyond its control. This includes packages, programming, as well as other activities directly or indirectly related to the conference. The Organising Institutions headed by RIVM, Organising Committee and Conference Secretariat cannot be held liable for the loss, damage, expenditure or inconvenience caused by such changes or cancellations.
Neither the organisers (namely the Organising Institutions headed by RIVM, Organising Committee, and Conference Secretariat), nor the MECC venue in Maastricht, take any responsibility for injury or damage involving persons or property during the conference. By registering for attending the conference, participants accept that the organisers cannot accept any liability. Participants are advised to arrange their own health and travel insurance.