Exceptions to Dutch negative Covid test requirement for EU safe countries, young children, commuters
In less than three days, the Dutch government will make it mandatory that only people with a negative PCR test result for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will be allowed to travel to the Netherlands using most modes of transportation. The regulation goes into force at 12:01 a.m. on December 29, and the government published a series of exemptions to that rule this week.
The test must be a molecular PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in the Netherlands. “No other type of test, including a rapid test, is valid,” the government said. The validity of the test extends to 96 hours when a travel delay occurs which is not the passenger’s fault.
The rule applies to those people aged 13 and up who are planning to arrive by aircraft, ferry, bus or train, including Dutch citizens. Passengers connecting in the Netherlands to continue on to another country also need the negative test, however those passengers who are diverted to a Dutch airport because of unforeseen circumstances do not.
Bus and train passengers who travel less than 30 kilometers to cross the border do not need the negative test result, and neither do cross-border commuters going to and from school or work. The Dutch rule also does not apply to people traveling by car, however the government pointed out “that different countries have imposed different measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you are travelling to the Netherlands by car through one or more other countries, you should check what rules apply there.”
Also exempted are people arriving from the European Union’s list of safe countries, the Dutch government said. As of December 16, Iceland was the only country within the EU on that list. The list also includes Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. China, Hong Kong and Macau could be added to that list only if China lifts restrictions on people traveling from Europe.
The negative test result will have no impact on the self-isolation advice in the country. Nearly everyone arriving in the Netherlands from abroad will still be told they should enter quarantine for at least ten days from the time they enter the country.
Full list of exceptions to the negative Covid-19 test requirement as of December 26
Below follows an unedited list from the Dutch government stating who does not need a negative covid test when arriving in the Netherlands from an origin point within the European Union or Schengen Area:
- Children under 13;
- People arriving from countries on the EU list of safe countries;
- Cross-border commuters (including students and school children);
- Holders of a diplomatic identity card issued by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- Holders of non-Dutch diplomatic passports;
- Holders of Dutch diplomatic passports, if they are travelling as part of their job, in order to perform their job or after performing their job;
- Heads of state and members of foreign governments;
- Individuals who work in the goods transport sector, and other transportation personnel in so far as necessary. This includes lorry drivers and individuals who work on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. of ore and coal), tankers (fuel and chemicals) and fishing vessels. It also includes individuals who work in the energy sector, including oil and gas platforms and offshore wind farms, offshore companies that provide services to this sector, and air, cruise-ship and ferry crew members if they are travelling in order to perform their job;
- Seafarers who possess a seaman’s record book if they are travelling as part of their job, in order to perform work or after performing work. This exemption does not apply to seafarers on commercial yachts and pleasure craft;
- Passengers on flights which do not have a Dutch airport as their destination, but are diverted to a Dutch airport due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Passengers with a NATO Travel Order or a NATO-2 visum.
Those passengers with a NATO Travel Order or a NATO-2 visum were left off the list of exemptions for passengers arriving from an origin point outside of the European Union or Schengen Area.