Mandatory negative COVID-19 test result

If you are aged 13 or over and travelling to the Netherlands from a high-risk country, you must provide proof that you have tested negative for COVID-19. You can do this by presenting a negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding. Or you can present both a negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands and a negative rapid test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding. 

Risk involved in travellers arriving from high-risk areas

The negative NAAT (PCR) test result is required because there is a risk that travellers arriving from high-risk areas will import and spread coronavirus variants. The mandatory test results are not a substitute for other coronavirus measures, such as the entry ban, self-quarantining and vaccination.

All passengers aged 13 and over must therefore present negative test results before travelling to the Netherlands. These rules also apply to people travelling to Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba (the Caribbean Netherlands).

Mandatory before departure by aircraft, ship, train or coach from a high-risk country

You must present a negative COVID-19 test result if you are:

  • travelling to the Netherlands from a high-risk country. This is any country that is not on the EU list of safe countries; and
  • travelling by aircraft, ship or international train or coach. Even if the Netherlands is not your final destination.

You must cover the costs of the tests yourself.

Rules if changing planes depend on country of departure

If your journey includes a transfer in the Netherlands or another country, the rules are as follows:

  • If you start your journey in a safe country and change planes in a high-risk country
    without leaving the airport, you are not required to present a negative test result. If you leave the airport, however, the negative test result requirement does apply to you.
  • If you start your journey in a high-risk country and change planes in another country
    the negative test result requirement applies to you, even if the country where you change planes is a safe country. This means you must present a negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding. Or you can present both a negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands and a negative rapid test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding. The result remains valid during the layover and in the event of a delay.
  • If you start your journey in a high-risk country and change planes in the Netherlands you will only need to show the results of an NAAT (PCR) test based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands. 

Negative tests results

If you are travelling to the Netherlands, you may be asked to present one or more of the following documents:

  • an official negative NAAT (PCR) test result for COVID-19

    This applies to almost all travellers on passenger transport. The NAAT (PCR) test result must meet certain requirements. You may present it on paper or digitally, for example on a smartphone.
  • an official negative rapid test result

    This applies to all travellers coming from high-risk countries by aircraft or ship who are unable to present a negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected less than 24 hours before boarding. The negative rapid test result must meet certain requirements. These are different to the requirements for the NAAT (PCR) test result.
  • a completed health declaration

    This applies only if you are travelling by air. Some airlines allow you to complete this health declaration digitally when you check in. Travellers under 13 also require a completed health declaration.

Presenting documents before departure and on arrival when travelling by air or sea

If you are travelling by air or sea, you must show these documents to the airline or shipping/ferry company before departure. If you are unable to present the correct documents, you will not be permitted to board. After your arrival in the Netherlands, a safety region official may always ask to see your documents.

Other coronavirus measures continue to apply

The requirement to present negative test results applies in addition to the other measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Test result requirement has not replaced entry ban

The requirement to present negative test results (and a signed declaration) is not an easing of the EU entry ban or the self-quarantine requirement. You may still only travel to the Netherlands from outside the EU/Schengen area if you are exempt from the entry ban.

Always self-quarantine on arrival

Testing negative is not a substitute for self-quarantining. People with a negative test result should still self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands. You can arrange to get tested for coronavirus again on the 5th day after your arrival. If the result of this test is negative you can end your self-quarantine. Consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advisories to see if the country you are arriving from is a high-risk country. To prepare for your journey to the Netherlands do the Quarantine Check for travellers. This is a practical checklist of steps to take before and after your journey. You should travel only if your journey is essential.

Requirement applies even after vaccination

You must present a negative test result even if you have received a coronavirus vaccination.

Testing positive long after having coronavirus

Some people continue to test positive for a long time after having had coronavirus, even when they no longer have symptoms and are no longer infectious. The following rules apply to these people:

  • If you have had coronavirus and are therefore unable to present a negative NAAT (PCR) test result, you can travel if you can present the following documents:
    • A positive NAAT (PCR) test result based or (as of 31 March) an antigen test result on a sample collected 2 to 8 weeks before travelling;
    • A positive NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours on arrival in the Netherlands;
    • A negative rapid test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before boarding.
  • If your rapid test result is also positive, you can travel to the Netherlands if you can present the following documents:
    • A positive NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected 2 to 8 weeks before travelling;
    • A positive NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 72 hours on arrival in the Netherlands;
    • A doctor’s certificate issued no more than 72 hours before boarding stating that you are no longer infectious. The doctor’s certificate must be written in either Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. The certificate must also bear the logo, stamp or other official mark of the issuing doctor or medical organisation.

NAAT (PCR) and rapid test locations outside the Netherlands

list of locations abroad where you can get a PCR test or a rapid test is provided on Netherlandsworldwide.nl.

People for whom exemptions apply

Rules for different means of transport