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


CNN Staff

If you are planning to travel to the Netherlands, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic

The basics

The Netherlands introduced a strict lockdown in December 2020, following a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases. The country’s first nighttime curfew since World War II was introduced in January, sparking riots in major cities.

The Netherlands has since eased restrictions as it seeks to return to normal life – although the Dutch PM has apologized for easing restrictions too early and brought back some.

What’s on offer

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ biggest draw, with its perfect canals, spectacular architecture and cafe culture. But beyond the capital, there is a lot to love, from the elegant administrative capital The Hague to the increasingly trendy port of Rotterdam. Outdoor enthusiasts won’t feel left out either, with excellent cycle paths and water sports on offer.

Who can go

Residents of the European Union are allowed to enter the Netherlands for any reason, but there are different rules for those traveling from ‘safe’ areas within the EU / Schengen area and those traveling from ‘safe’ areas within the EU / Schengen area. are traveling from areas considered to be high risk.

Travelers arriving from safe areas must complete a health declaration prior to arrival and take a Covid test once entering the Netherlands, while those coming from high-risk areas must provide either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from the disease. coronavirus or a negative Covid. test result.

Visitors from other countries considered low risk (with a variant of concern) may enter the Netherlands.

Currently, the following destinations outside the EU are considered “safe”: Australia, Canada, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Hong Kong, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Svalbard, Taiwan , Ukraine and Uruguay. A complete, regularly updated list of safe countries is available on the Dutch government website.

Non-EU destinations considered to be “very high risk” are: Afghanistan, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Eswatini, French Guyana, French Polynesia, Georgia , Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kosovo, Lesotho, Malaysia, Martinique, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.

Vaccinated travelers from countries considered “at very high risk” should provide proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test result before being allowed to travel to the Netherlands.

However, the country has just reversed its decision to introduce a mandatory 10-day quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from “very high risk” areas. Beginning September 22, vaccinated visitors arriving in “very high risk” areas will be required to submit negative PCR or antigen test results in order to visit, but will not need to enter quarantine.

Unvaccinated travelers from “very high risk” areas are currently subject to a 10-day quarantine requirement.

What are the restrictions?

Vaccinated travelers from ‘safe’ countries within the EU do not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the Netherlands.

Those coming from “very high risk” countries must present the results of a negative PCR or antigen test (carried out respectively within 48 and 24 hours if arriving by air).

Travelers arriving from safe areas outside the EU must provide proof of vaccination, or a negative PCR test result or antigen test performed within 48 hours (or collected within 24 hours for antigen testing ).

Unvaccinated travelers from “very high risk” areas outside the EU must be quarantined for 10 days. The return of a new negative test on the fifth day of the quarantine means that visitors from these countries can move freely around 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 situation of the Covid?

Covid cases increased in mid-July in the Netherlands, albeit from a low base, in part thanks to the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant. The cases have trended downwards. As of October 1, there had been just over two million cases in the country, with 12,020 last week. There have been 18,584 deaths from Covid. So far, just over 66.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.

What can visitors expect?

The Dutch government eased restrictions in June, before bringing back some on July 9, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologizing for easing them too soon.

Nightclubs were closed again, while summer festivals were canceled.

However, authorities have announced that the rules will be relaxed again from September 25.

The 1.5-meter social distancing requirement will be removed from that date, while nightclubs will be allowed to reopen.

Although masks are no longer required in indoor public spaces, including train stations, anyone over the age of 13 is still required to wear one at airports, on planes, trains, buses, streetcars and subways, in taxis and on other commercial passenger transport.

Those who do not face fines of € 95 ($ 112).

Useful links

Quarantine control

Quarantine declaration

Health screening form

Our last blanket

There is a proud Dutch tradition of allowing visitors to peek into their homes, with locals leaving their blinds and curtains wide open after dark. (Great after a year of looking at the same four walls). Another tradition has become less easy: access to marijuana for tourists has been restricted.

The streets of Amsterdam that were once crowded with tourists are now much quieter, making it possible to see the city as it was. And there is always the chance that you can admire the super rich as they try to squeeze their huge yachts down these picturesque canals.

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Joe Minihane and Julia Buckley contributed to this report

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