Self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands

Travellers arriving in the Netherlands from certain countries and regions are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. Even if you do not have any symptoms or if you have tested negative for COVID-19. Once in the Netherlands, you can self-quarantine at home or in temporary or holiday accommodation. Read the questions and answers about self-quarantine. 

Which travellers are strongly advised to self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands?

You are strongly advised to self-quarantine if you're travelling from: 

  • Sweden
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Aruba
  • Sint Maarten
  • 6 provinces in Spain; Barcelona and Lerida (in the autonomous region Catalonia), de provinces Huesca, Zaragoza en Teruel (in the autonomous region Aragón) and the province Soria (in the region Castile and León)
  • 1 area in Portugal (Vale do Tejo, this includes Lisbon)
  • 1 area in the United Kingdom (Leicester)
  • 1 area in Belgium (Antwerp);
  • countries outside the EU, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom.

Test centres will be created for travellers arriving in the Netherlands from high-risk areas. The first test centre will be at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, with other locations following in due course. Travellers can get tested on arrival and must then self-quarantine at home. Travellers who do not get tested upon arrival, must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Which travellers are exempted from self-quarantine?

Certain travellers are exempted from self-quarantine, unless they have symptoms: 

  • Travellers from countries outside the EU, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom for which the travel ban has been lifted
  • Certain categories of travellers :
    • transit passengers who are travelling via the Netherlands and do not leave the airport’s international transit zone
    • seafarers with a seaman’s record book (apart from those on commercial yachts and pleasure craft)
    • people with compelling reasons to visit their family in the Netherlands. This is only possible in exceptional cases, such as visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren are second-degree
    • people in certain professions providing essential services, and people travelling for work. These people should make agreements with their employer about striking a balance between needs and risks and ensuring self-quarantine rules are complied with. They may wish to consult with occupational health and safety experts in this regard. This category includes:
      • healthcare professionals, only if they are travelling to the Netherlands for work (including medical researchers and elderly care workers)
      • cross-border commuters if they are travelling for work
      • transport workers if they are travelling for work
      • diplomats if they are travelling for work
      • staff and invitees of international organisations if they are travelling for work 
      • members of the armed forces if they are travelling for work
      • humanitarian aid workers if they are travelling for work
      • civil protection personnel if they are travelling for work.

Questions about self-quarantine

What does self-quarantine mean?

  • Don’t leave your accommodation. Do not receive visitors.

  • During the self-quarantine period do not travel or go to another location in the Netherlands. People arriving from abroad may not return to their country of origin.

  • If you do not develop any symptoms that could be caused by coronavirus, you can end the self-quarantine after 14 days.

  • The following rules apply during self-quarantine:
    • Work from home and do not use public transport.
    • If you are a healthcare professional you may under certain conditions go to work. Discuss this with the municipal health service (GGD) or your company doctor.
    • Nobody may visit you, except for medical purposes (for example, a family doctor or a GGD official).
    • Only members of your household may be at home with you. Make sure you have as little contact as possible with members of your household and keep 1.5 metres apart wherever possible. This means no hugging, kissing or sex.
    • If you need medical assistance, do not go to the doctor or the hospital, but phone the doctor instead.
    • Ask other people to do grocery shopping for you. If this isn’t possible, you may briefly go out to do grocery shopping. But only if you do not have any symptoms.
    • You can sit outside if you have a garden or balcony.
    • Children stay at home. Children aged 4 to 12 may go to school and childcare and play sports, unless they have any symptoms.

What should I do if I develop symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • If you have any symptoms you must stay indoors. You can get tested at the municipal health service (GGD). If you have other health conditions or severe coronavirus symptoms, phone your family doctor. Stay at home and avoid contact with others until you have received the test results.
    • If the test if negative, continue to self-quarantine until the period of 14 days is over.
    • If the test is positive, you must self-isolate.
      • Avoid contact with housemates, family members and visitors.
      • Follow the advice of the local health authorities/GGD.
      • Your travelling companions and/or family members aged 13 or over must continue to self-quarantine.
      • You may not travel. If you do not live in the Netherlands, you may not return to your country of origin. 
      • The GGD will start source and contact tracing (in the case of tourists only for their stay in the Netherlands).
      • Practise good personal hygiene.Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and always:
        • after coughing and sneezing
        • after going to the toilet
        • after tidying up and cleaning
        • before preparing and eating food.
      • Use a paper tissue when coughing and sneezing. If you do not have a paper tissue at hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
      • Use a tissue once only and then dispose of it immediately. Then wash your hands.

I am arriving from a country or region that the urgent self-quarantine advice applies to. I was tested for COVID-19 (abroad or in the Netherlands) and the result was negative. Do I still have to self-quarantine for 14 days?

Yes, you are urgently advised to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in the Netherlands. This also applies if you were tested at your travel destination or immediately on your return to the Netherlands and the result was negative.

After infection with coronavirus it takes between 2 and 14 days for symptoms to appear. A test is a snapshot of a particular moment in time. It does not show whether you will go on to develop COVID-19, so it is important that you stay at home for 14 days. You should get tested again if you develop symptoms, even if they are only mild.

I have come from a country or region that self-quarantine advice did not initially apply to. A few days after my arrival in the Netherlands, the advice changed. Do I have to self-quarantine for 14 days?

No, you do not have to self-quarantine for 14 days, but it is very important that you keep a close eye on your health. If you develop symptoms, even if they are only mild, you should stay at home and get tested.

My journey involves arriving or departing via an airport in a country or region to which self-quarantine advice applies. What should I do?

In such cases, anyone aged 13 or over is strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days immediately after returning to the Netherlands, even if they have only been in the country or region for a very short time.

I wish to travel to a country or region that the self-quarantine advice does not apply to, via an airport in a country or region where it does. Is this allowed? 

Change your reservation and travel via a different airport in a country or region that the self-quarantine advice does not apply to. If this proves impossible, for instance because the travel advisory changed just before you were due to travel, follow the basic rules that apply at airports in the Netherlands (i.e. stay 1.5 metres from others and wear a face mask). You should also follow any additional measures in place at the airport in question.

You are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning to the Netherlands if:

  • you did not travel on to your destination immediately from the airport in your own vehicle or a hired car, or
  • you end up staying longer in the country or region.

Can I drive through countries or regions that the self-quarantine advice applies to? Can I stop for fuel there?

If there is no other option but to drive through a country or region that the self-quarantine advice applies to (often these countries or regions have an orange travel advisory), avoid contact as much as possible:

  • Do not stop for fuel.
  • Do not stop at a café or supermarket.
  • Drive until you are no longer in the area to which an orange travel advisory applies.

If you do end up staying longer in the area, everyone in your party aged 13 or over is urgently advised to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the Netherlands.