Travelers can book free coronavirus test from today
This story was updated to note that the website was not online at the time of publication, but that the phone hotline was operational.
Travelers in the Netherlands can schedule a free coronavirus test starting from Wednesday. The tests are intended for people who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19, and those who are not otherwise eligible for a digital travel certificate. The tests are free of charge during the months of July and August.
Tests can be done two weeks before departure at numerous test locations throughout the country. The appointments can be booked via a special web page of the Dutch government. The results are typically available within three hours after taking the test. The website lists test companies that have been designated by the government to carry out free tests for travelers.
The special website was still not online as of 12:30 p.m., and municipal health service GGD said they were working on it. The GGD said that a special hotline, 0800-5005, was available daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but that it was "very busy" on the phones already a few hours after launch. The GGD asked that people refrain from calling unless they are going on holiday this week.
"In this way we can ensure that everyone who will go on holiday this week can schedule their test."
Some countries require a PCR test. In that case, travelers need to make sure they get tested in time as results can take between 24 and 26 hours. PCR tests can be booked at a number of GGD test locations as well as commercial providers, but not all commercial providers are connected to the CoronaCheck app yet.
Because entry requirements are frequently changing, travelers are advised to check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel advice for their destination shortly before departure. Though broadcaster BNR found that this advice isn't always correct or up to date.