People arriving from outside the EU/Schengen area must present a negative COVID-19 test result and declaration

All people travelling to the Netherlands from a high-risk area outside the EU/Schengen area by air or sea must be able to present a negative COVID-19 test result and a declaration bearing their signature.

Please note: People travelling to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom or South Africa by aircraft or ferry must take an additional rapid test at either the airport or ferry terminal before departure.

Who needs to present a negative test result and declaration?

The requirement to present a negative test result and declaration applies to people travelling to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU/Schengen area that is not on the EU list of safe countries. This applies to all passengers, including Dutch nationals and nationals of other EU and Schengen countries.

Test must have been conducted less than 72 hours before arrival

The time between samples being collected from the passenger’s nose and/or throat, and the passenger’s arrival in the Netherlands must be no more than 72 hours. The result must be known before the passenger departs for the Netherlands. To arrange a COVID-19 test, contact the health services in the country you are departing from.

Passengers without test result not permitted to board

If a passenger is unable to present a negative test result and declaration to the airline or shipping/ferry company, they may not travel to the Netherlands and will not be permitted to board the aircraft or ship. If on arrival in the Netherlands, a passenger does not have a negative test result and declaration, the Royal Military and Border Police (Koninklijke Marechaussee) can deny them entry to the Netherlands.

The requirement to present a negative test result and signed declaration is not an easing of the EU entry ban or the advice to self-quarantine. Only travellers who are exempt from the entry ban are permitted to enter the Netherlands. People are exempt if:

  • the country of departure is on the EU list of safe countries; or
  • they fall into one of the exemption categories.

The requirement to present a negative test result and declaration is an additional requirement. People coming from high-risk countries are still urgently advised to self-quarantine immediately on arrival.

Presenting test result and declaration

Passengers must be able to present the following documents:

Passengers must show these documents to the airline or shipping/ferry company before departure. On arrival in the Netherlands they must show them to safety region officials or the Royal Military and Border Police (Koninklijke Marechaussee).

People arriving from EU/Schengen countries only have to present a negative test result. People arriving from countries outside the EU/Schengen area must present both a negative test result and a negative test declaration bearing their signature.

Signed declaration must be printed

Passengers must complete and sign a negative test declaration and carry a printed copy with them. It is not sufficient for them to present a digital version of the declaration on a smartphone or tablet.

A negative test result may however be presented digitally.

Who needs to present a negative COVID-19 test result?

As of 00.01 on 29 December 2020, people are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result if they:

  • are arriving from a country outside the EU/Schengen area that is not on the EU list of safe countries;
  • are travelling by air or sea;
  • are aged 13 or over; and
  • do not fall into one of the exemption categories listed below.

The negative test declaration is an additional requirement for passengers from high-risk areas outside the EU/Schengen area. So passengers coming from countries deemed ‘safe’ by the EU do not have to present a negative test declaration.

Negative COVID-19 test result required for transit through Dutch airports

Transit passengers at airports in the Netherlands who directly continue their journey by air are also required to present a negative test result.

Travelling by ferry or ship

Passengers travelling to the Netherlands from a high risk area by ship are also required to present a negative COVID-19 test result.

This applies to ferries from the United Kingdom, as well as ships coming from other countries, including cruise and river cruise ships.

Lorry drivers using ferry services to and from the Netherlands are not required to show a negative COVID-19 test result.

Travelling via the Channel Tunnel

Anyone travelling via the Channel Tunnel must comply with the French rules. This means they must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result. The test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in the Netherlands.

Exemptions from negative test result requirement

The following people do not need a negative test result:

  • Children under 13;
  • People arriving from countries on the EU list of safe countries;
  • Cross-border workers (including students and school children);
  • Holders of a diplomatic identity card issued by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Holders of non-Dutch diplomatic passports;
  • Holders of Dutch diplomatic passports, if they are travelling in the exercise of their work or whose physical presence is required for work;
  • Heads of state and members of foreign governments;
  • Individuals who work in the goods transport sector, and other essential transport personnel, including lorry drivers and crew members on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. ore and coal), tankers (fuel and chemicals) and fishing vessels. It also includes individuals who work in the energy sector, including oil and gas platforms and offshore wind farms, offshore companies that provide services to this sector, and air, cruise-ship and ferry crew members if they are travelling in order to perform their job;
  • Seafarers who possess a seaman’s record book if they are travelling in the exercise of their work or whose physical presence is required for work. The exemption does not apply to seafarers on commercial yachts and pleasure craft;
  • Passengers on flights which do not have a Dutch airport as their destination, but are diverted to a Dutch airport due to unforeseen circumstances;
  • Passengers with a NATO Travel Order or NATO-2 visa.

Definition of cross-border worker/student/school child

You are a cross-border worker/student/school child if you live in an EU member state, a Schengen country or the United Kingdom and work/study/attend school in the Netherlands, and you travel back to your place of residence at least once a week. You are also a cross border worker/student/school child if you live in the Netherlands and work/study/attend school in another EU member state, a Schengen country or the United Kingdom, and you travel back to your place of residence in the Netherlands at least once a week.

Proof of cross-border worker/student/school child status

You must provide proof of where you live (for example a lease or confirmation from the municipality) and proof of where you work/study/attend school (for example an employment contract, a declaration from your employer, proof of enrolment from your university or school, or a declaration from your university or school).

Test conducted more than 72 hours prior to arrival in the Netherlands due to delay

If a passenger is delayed through no fault of their own, a negative result of a test conducted up to 96 hours before arrival (instead of 72 hours) will still be accepted. This gives the passenger an extra 24 hours. The passenger is responsible for proving they had no fault in the delay.

Negative test result is not a health declaration

Air passengers arriving in the Netherlands must also have filled in a health declaration. Please note: this is not the same as a negative test declaration, which must be filled in and signed separately.