Netherlands requiring two negative Covid tests for passengers from UK, South Africa
Passengers wanting to travel from the United Kingdom or from South Africa directly to the Netherlands by airplane or ferry will be required to show two negative coronavirus test results when departing. The Dutch government wants those travelers to submit to a rapid test immediately before departure, in addition to a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours before arriving in the Netherlands.
They will only be allowed to board an aircraft or ferry when they have produced documentation showing both negative results, the Ministries of Infrastructure and Public Health announced on Wednesday. The measure takes effect at 00:01 a.m. on Friday for planes, and will be implemented for ferries as soon as possible, the Ministries said.
Crew members will not be exempt from the requirements, the Ministries said in a statement. Truck drivers using the ferries will also be told to comply with the rules.
The new rules are meant to prevent the B117 and B1351 coronavirus variants from spreading further in the Netherlands. The first is common to the United Kingdom and believed to be at least 55 percent more contagious than the variant common to the Netherlands. The latter being a more contagious variant first found in South Africa.
In parliament on Wednesday, GroenLinks and D66 filed a motion asking the government to limit flights from London, also in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the B117 strain in the Netherlands. A majority said they'd support the proposal. Though Prime Minster Mark Rutte warned that limiting flights is legally complicated.