Ban on flights from the United Kingdom, South Africa and countries in Central and South America

There is a ban on passenger flights from the United Kingdom, South Africa and countries in Central and South America. New, highly infectious variants of coronavirus are present in these countries. The purpose of the flight ban is to prevent the further spread of these variants in the Netherlands. A docking ban is in force for ferries carrying passengers from the United Kingdom. Both bans are due to remain in place until 1 April 2021.

Countries subject to the flight ban

Flights from the following countries have been banned since 23 January 2021:

  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa

The ban also applies to the following countries in Central and South America:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Ban on ferry travel

Ferries carrying passengers from the United Kingdom have been from docking in the Netherlands since 23 January.

Exception for freight drivers

Freight transport from the United Kingdom is still permitted. Freight drivers on ferries from the United Kingdom must take a rapid antigen test no more than 24 hours before they board the ferry.

Air freight will continue

Air freight transport is exempt from the flight ban.

Travel to the Netherlands or to Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba: contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Dutch embassy

If you need to return by air or sea to the Netherlands or to Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba because of an emergency, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Dutch embassy in the country where you are staying. The Ministry or the embassy will try to help you as best they can. But it is not certain that you will be able to return quickly.

Exemptions from the flight ban and docking ban

The following people are exempted:

  • Healthcare workers, people travelling for medical treatment and people carrying out vital work to help combat COVID-19.
  • Seafarers who possess a seaman’s record book if they are travelling in the exercise of their work or travelling to or from their work. The exemption does not apply to seafarers on commercial yachts and pleasure craft.
  • Staff travelling to and from drilling platforms in Dutch or UK territory.
  • People who work in the aviation industry who are travelling in the exercise of their work.
  • Dutch nationals returning to the Netherlands by aircraft or ferry. This also applies to residents of other EU/Schengen countries if they are transiting through the Schengen area. The Dutch government will not be arranging repatriation flights. It is likely that there will be no more passenger flights to the Netherlands, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba after 23 January 2021 from the countries to which the flight ban applies. Dutch nationals who are abroad are advised to return before then or to prepare for an extended stay. The flight ban is due to remain in place until 1 April 2021 but may be ended sooner if there are grounds for doing so.