Traveling to Amsterdam during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go

Editor’s note – Coronavirus cases are constantly evolving around the world. Health officials warn that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you are fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you are still planning to travel, last updated February 28.

(CNN) — If you’re planning to travel to Amsterdam, here’s what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Amsterdam is slowly emerging from its third lockdown since the start of the pandemic, with the lifting of restrictions across the Netherlands.

The Dutch government first introduced a strict nationwide lockdown in December 2020, following a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases. A few weeks later, the Netherlands‘ first night curfew since World War II was introduced, leading to riots in Amsterdam and other major cities.

The country’s last strict lockdown began in December 2021 due to a further rise in coronavirus infections. However, Amsterdam, like the rest of the country, is now looking to return to normal life.

What is offered

Amsterdam is a major draw thanks to its historic canals, stunning architecture, renowned museums and extensive cultural attractions. The Dutch city‘s cycling culture has also contributed to its popularity, and the city remains one of Europe’s top destinations.

who can go

Residents of the European Union are allowed to enter Amsterdam, along with the rest of the Netherlands, for any reason.

However, since February 25, people arriving from the EU/Schengen area without proof of vaccination or recovery are required to produce a negative Covid-19 test result.

There are also different rules for those traveling from “safe” areas within the EU/Schengen area and those traveling from areas deemed to be high risk.

Arrivals from safe areas must complete a health declaration before arrival and take a Covid test once they enter the Netherlands. Currently, no country in the EU/Schengen area is designated as “safe”.

People arriving from destinations deemed “high risk” within the EU/Schengen area must provide proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result.

Since December 22, all travelers from non-EU/Schengen countries that are not considered “very high risk” with a variant of concern must produce a negative test before entry, along with proof of vaccination or evidence of recent recovery from Covid-19.

Visitors from destinations considered “very high risk areas” are no longer legally required to self-quarantine upon arrival from February 25.

From February 2, travelers who received a booster injection at least seven days before entering the country will be exempt from quarantine, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Currently, the following destinations outside the EU are considered “safe”: Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay. A full, regularly updated list of safe countries is available on the Dutch government website.
At present, the list of ‘very high risk’ countries includes all non-EU destinations other than those listed above. A full list of very high risk countries, regularly updated, is available here.

What are the restrictions?

Vaccinated travelers from “safe” countries within the EU do not need to present proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter Amsterdam.

Those coming from “very high risk” countries must show the results of a negative PCR or an antigen test (carried out respectively within 48 and 24 hours in the event of arrival by plane).

From December 22, travelers arriving from safe areas outside the EU that are not designated “very high risk” must provide proof of vaccination, or a negative PCR test result or an antigen test carried out within 48 hours (or collected within 24 hours for antigen testing).

Travelers from “very high risk” areas outside the EU are required to self-quarantine for 10 days. The return of a new negative test on the fifth day of quarantine means that visitors from these countries can move freely within the country. You can make an appointment to be tested once in the Netherlands by calling 0800 1202.

All travelers must complete a medical screening form, which can be downloaded here.

What is the Covid situation?

Covid cases rose in mid-July in the Netherlands, albeit from a low base, partly due to the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant. Cases had been on a downward trend, but have started to rise again in recent months. As of February 28, there have been more than 6.2 million cases in the country, including more than 71,018 in the past week. There have been 22,095 deaths from Covid. So far, more than 71.2% of the population is fully vaccinated.

What can visitors expect?

Amsterdam is slowly reopening as restrictions in the Netherlands ease.

Bars, cafes and restaurants were allowed to reopen with reduced capacity on January 26, while households can now have up to four guests aged over 13 in their homes at a time.

The city’s museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, also reopened in late January.

However, nightclubs must remain closed for the time being.

Mandatory mask-wearing in indoor public spaces was reintroduced on November 6.

The Netherlands has also introduced a coronavirus pass system which is available to those who are fully vaccinated, or have valid proof of recovery or a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken less than 24 hours. before in order to enter specific places.

The list of places where a coronavirus pass is required has been expanded to include restaurants, museums, cinemas and gyms.

Useful links

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