Negative test declaration now mandatory for travellers from the UK and South Africa

The ban on passenger flights from South Africa and the ban on both sea and air travel for passengers from the United Kingdom will be lifted as of Wednesday 23 December (00.01 Dutch time). These bans will be replaced by a requirement that prior to the start of their trip, all passengers –  including EU nationals – must be in possession of a declaration documenting a recent, negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. Once they arrive in the Netherlands, all passengers are strongly urged to quarantine themselves for a period of 10 days.

Today, the Dutch government decided to impose this requirement for a negative test declaration, which passengers must present when boarding an airplane in South Africa or either a boat or airplane in the UK. Airlines and passenger ship companies that operate routes between these countries and the Netherlands have been instructed by the Dutch authorities to check that all passengers are in possession of a negative PCR test result before boarding. The test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled arrival in the Netherlands. Anyone who does not have a negative test declaration will be denied boarding. This also applies to Dutch and EU citizens returning from the United Kingdom or South Africa.

The airlines and passenger ship companies will also hand out information during the journey which explains what actions the passengers must take once they arrive. For example, upon arriving in the Netherlands, passengers must immediately self-quarantine for a period of 10 days. The Dutch safety regions will carry out random checks on passengers to ensure that they have a valid negative test declaration.

In addition, the government has decided to introduce a further requirement as soon as possible which will make the negative PCR test declaration mandatory for all passengers – including Dutch and EU nationals – entering the Netherlands from abroad.

The rule requiring passengers to submit a negative test declaration before the start of their trip had already been in effect since 15 December for people living outside the EU. The government would like to reiterate that people are strongly encouraged not to travel unless strictly necessary.