FAQs about tourism in the Netherlands and COVID-19 measures

Dutch tourists and foreign travellers from countries where the health risks are similar to or lower than in the Netherlands can holiday in the Netherlands. Everyone must follow the Dutch advice and rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Rules for everyone

What rules do I have to follow during my holiday in the Netherlands?

During your stay in the Netherlands you must follow the rules that have been imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands, including tourists.

  • If you have symptoms, get tested as soon as possible and stay at home.
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Don’t shake hands with others.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

Read more information about the basic rules for everyone in the Netherlands

Additional local measures

Additional local measures may apply in certain Dutch cities and regions. Check the website of the city or region you will be visiting to find out what these are. For instance, check the city of Amsterdam's website for information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Amsterdam

May I travel anywhere I wish within the Netherlands?

There are no restrictions on travel within the Netherlands. However, it’s important to avoid busy places, so please keep this in mind when choosing your destination. Consider going to a different region or city instead of tourist hotspots.    

Are restaurants and cafés in the Netherlands open?

Yes, restaurants, cafés and outdoor seating areas are open in the Netherlands, but special restrictions apply. 

Restaurants, cafés and bars must use reservations (made either in advance or at the door), pre-entry health checks and assigned seating (at either a table or the bar). This applies both outdoors and indoors and regardless of the size of the establishment. You must be asked to provide your name and contact details so that the municipal health service (GGD) can contact you if an outbreak is traced to that establishment. You can voluntarily provide this information. 

Are museums and other places of interest open?

Museums and monuments are open. The maximum number of visitors depends on the size of the building. Visitors could be asked whether they have cold-like symptoms or a fever.

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

If you have symptoms that suggest you may have COVID-19, remain inside wherever you are staying and arrange to be tested. Call 0800-1202 or +31 850 659 063 to arrange an appointment. If you test positive for COVID-19, you and any travelling companions must self-isolate in your holiday accommodation for 10 days.

As a foreign tourist, do I have to have a reservation for holiday accommodation?

No. You are not obliged to reserve your holiday accommodation before you travel to the Netherlands. 

Will foreign tourists receive fines if they do not observe the rules?

Yes. No distinction is made between Dutch residents and foreign tourists when it comes to enforcing the COVID-19 rules.

Should foreign tourists get tested if they develop symptoms while in the Netherlands?

Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms while in the Netherlands – whether they live here or are just visiting – should stay at home or in their holiday accommodation and get tested. Foreign tourists can call the national appointment line on 0800 1202 or +31 850 659 063.

Non-medical face masks

What type of non-medical face mask do I need to wear while travelling in the Netherlands?

When travelling by public transport, taxi, coach or car, a non-medical face mask that does not have a filter and is made of a material such as cotton is enough. These types of face mask are sold in places like supermarkets and pharmacies. You can also make your own. 

You may not use a scarf, face shield/visor, snood, bandanna, the collar of a jacket, or a non-medical face mask made from a sock, for instance. Gas masks should also not be used. 

How many non-medical face masks do I need?

You will need a new or freshly washed non-medical face mask for every journey. For instance, if you make one journey in the morning and one journey in the afternoon, you will need two non-medical face masks. 

I don't have a non-medical face mask. Can I travel on public transport? 

No. All passengers aged 13 and over are required to wear a non-medical face mask. The fine for not wearing a non-medical face mask is €95. 

Can I buy a non-medical face mask at train stations in the Netherlands? 

At train stations, non-medical face masks are for sale in the following shops: Kiosk, AKO, Albert Heijn, HEMA and Etos. They can also be bought from vending machines on platforms.

When should I put my non-medical face mask on?

To ensure safe and efficient boarding, put your non-medical face mask on before you get into the vehicle. Don't take off your mask until after you have got out of the vehicle.

What should I do with my non-medical face mask after using it?

After you have used a disposable non-medical face mask once, you should dispose of it in a normal waste bin. Non-medical face masks cannot be recycled. You should throw away disposable gloves in the same way after one use. If you buy or make a cotton reusable non-medical face mask, you can wash and re-use it. If it breaks or wears out, you should dispose of it in the same way as a disposable non-medical face mask.

Transport in the Netherlands

May foreign tourists use public transport in the Netherlands?

You can use public transport, but should avoid peak hours. Allow for extra journey time so that, if a bus or train is too crowded, you can take the next one. People aged 13 or over must wear a non-medical face mask on public transport.

What rules apply if I travel by taxi?

Taxi passengers must undergo a pre-travel health check and wear a non-medical face mask. This will help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. It is a good idea to book your taxi in advance wherever possible. Taxi firms are taking additional measures to prevent the virus spreading, such as additional cleaning between journeys. The driver will also ask you to place your luggage in the boot yourself and to open your own door.

Can I travel by coach in the Netherlands?

Yes, you can go on a coach holiday or day trip in the Netherlands. You must undergo a pre-travel health check and everyone aged 13 or over must wear a non-medical face mask. This will help reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Wherever possible, passengers will be asked to reserve and be allocated a seat.

Can I take a ferry to the Wadden Islands?

Yes. But all passengers aged 13 and over must wear a non-medical face mask on board.

I will be travelling by car. Can people who aren't members of my household or family travel with me in my car?

Yes. People from different households can travel in the same car. Anyone aged 13 or over is advised to wear a non-medical face mask in this situation. If you are in a car on your own or with members of your own household only, you don't need to wear a non-medical face mask.

Travelling to and from the Netherlands

Are face masks compulsory at Amsterdam Schiphol and other airports?

At airports, it may not always be possible to stay 1.5 metres from others at peak periods or during security checks. So airports are asking travellers to wear non-medical face masks at check-in, security and when boarding, for instance.

You are advised to check in online before you go to the airport. At airports, just like everywhere else in the Netherlands, you should stay 1.5 metres from others and observe the hygiene rules.

Do not go to the airport if you have COVID-19 symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing or a fever.

Are people tested for coronavirus before they board a plane?

No, this is not standard practice. Airlines are free to decide for themselves how they conduct health screening. Check with your airline for more information on their boarding procedure.

I'm flying back to the Netherlands from an area with many coronavirus infections. Do special measures apply to me when I arrive?

In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands the Dutch government has decided to implement measures for passengers flying to the Netherlands from areas with many coronavirus infections by means of a health declaration form and self-quarantine. 

Please read the information about self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands

I need to fill in a Health Screening Form before my flight. How does that work? 

All passengers aged 13 and above travelling to and from Dutch airports must fill in a Health Screening Form. You can download and print a Health Screening Form yourself. Fill in and sign the form before your flight. If you report symptoms on the form that suggest you may have COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board the aircraft. 

Keep the form with you during your journey. Your Health Screening Form may be checked at the entrance to the airport and in the airport building itself, such as during check-in and boarding. At the destination airport, passengers will be selected at random and asked to show their form. You will also need a completed Health Screening Form for the return journey. You are advised to take a blank form with you in case you are unable to download and print a form at your holiday address.