“We are seeing people’s reactions to media reports,” Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima, said in a statement issued at the Royal House late Friday.
“We want to leave no doubt that it is necessary to follow the instructions in order to control the COVID-19 virus. The discussion about our vacation does not contribute to that.”
Although the king’s holiday in Greece did not violate any of the rules for blocking the Netherlands, including new restrictions introduced this week amid one of the largest outbreaks of coronavirus in Europe, the government discouraged unnecessary travel.
“This is unreasonable and incomprehensible,” ANP quoted lawmaker Joost Sneler of the D-66 party, one of the coalition partners in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling coalition, as saying about the king’s vacation.
Rutte had urged the nation in a televised address Tuesday “not to test the limits of the rules.”
“You can go on holiday, but then go to the place where you booked your villa or hotel room and do not move,” said the prime minister. “If you still go abroad – well, your options are limited, as there are few countries that want to have us already.”
Willem-Alexander, who owns a private villa in southern Greece, is traveling on a state plane, the ANP reported.
The Netherlands reported nearly 8,000 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, a record.
Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima, apologized after a previous holiday in Greece in August, after a photo was published showing them violating social distance guidelines on the island of Milos.