The Royal Netherlands Navy has decided to halt all ship deployments after coronavirus cases were reported among the crews of several navy ships.
The Dutch defense ministry said only those deployments deemed strictly necessary will be allowed to proceed.
This means exercises are halted for the time being. Ships that do have to deploy will do so only after a strict quarantine regime, it has been added.
Dutch Navy sailors will continue training on shore to work on their readiness as much as possible, in order to be capable of deploying in the event of a crisis.
The first Royal Netherlands Navy crew to be affected by the coronavirus was reported as early as March 2020, when the Walrus-class submarine HNLMS Dolfijn was forced to cancel participation in international maneuvers after at least eight of the boat’s 58 crew tested positive for COVID-19.