On June 1, the Dutch authorities decided to lift the flight ban imposed on COVID-19 high-risk countries, meaning that arrivals from India, South Africa, and countries in South and Central America are now only subject to a ten-day quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.
Nonetheless, it was revealed that the quarantine period can be shortened if a negative test result is provided on the fifth day of self-isolation, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Following the new decision, all persons over the age of 13 travelling from a high-risk area to the Netherlands are also required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding.
In case the passengers took a PCR test, the test result should not be older than 72 hours, whereas if it was a rapid antigen test, the test result should not be older than 24 hours when boarding.
“The negative NAAT (PCR) test result is required because there is a risk that travellers arriving from high-risk areas will import and spread coronavirus variants. The mandatory test results are not a substitute for other coronavirus measures, such as the entry ban, self-quarantining and vaccination,” the Government’s statement reads.
Consequently, as of June 1, all arrivals from Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Cape Verde, Lithuania, Maldives, India, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Seychelles, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, South Africa, and Sweden will only be subject to the quarantine requirements when entering the Netherlands.
Everyone who fails to follow the quarantine rules set by the Dutch Government will be issued a fine of €435.
Although the authorities lifted the flight ban on Tuesday, the entry ban on EU countries continues to remain effective. Only countries exempt from the EU’s travel restrictions, also known as safe countries, will be permitted entry to the Netherlands regardless of the purpose of their trip.
The following safe countries are allowed to enter the Netherlands without being subject to the testing or self-isolation requirement:
- Countries outside the EU/Schengen Area:Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, China, and Israel.
- EU/Schengen Area countries:Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Malta, Ireland, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Greece’s North Aegean Region and the Ionian Islands, Norway (excluding Oslo and Agder), Portugal, and Romania.
- Countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Curaçao, Aruba Bonaire, St Maarten, Saba, and St Eustatius.
Currently, these are the only countries with a low risk of COVID-19 that are allowed restriction-free entry to the Netherlands. However, the status of the countries may change at any time.
Due to the travel restrictions, the Netherland’s travel and tourism industry has suffered the most. As a result, the EU Commission approved a scheme of €400 million to support companies that provide package travel and linked travel arrangements in the country.
At the same time, the travel firms in the Netherlands warned that summer holidays in the country during 2021 are likely to be more expensive.