People arriving from countries in the EU/Schengen area required to present negative COVID-19 test result

People travelling to the Netherlands by aircraft, ship or international train or coach must present a negative COVID-19 test result if they are coming from a high-risk area in the EU/Schengen area.

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

Requirement also applies to EU/Schengen nationals

This requirement applies to all travellers, including Dutch nationals and nationals of other EU and Schengen countries. If a passenger is unable to present a negative test result for COVID-19 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.

International train and coach passengers will be asked to present a negative test result before boarding or during the journey, but at any rate before the first stop in the Netherlands. If they are unable to do so, they will be asked to get off the train or coach at the first stop after the border.

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

From 00.00 on 29 December 2020, passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result and declaration if:

  • they are arriving from a country that is not on the EU list of safe countries;
  • they are from a country in the EU/Schengen area (with the exception of Iceland) travelling by aircraft, ship or international train or coach; 
  • are aged 13 or over;
  • do not fall into one of the exemption categories listed below.

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

Travelling to the Netherlands by international train or coach

People must be able to show a negative COVID-19 test result if they are travelling to the Netherlands using one of the following international train or coach connections:

  • Intercity Berlin
  • ICE International from Frankfurt/Basel
  • Thalys
  • Eurostar
  • Intercity Brussels
  • FlixBus international routes.

Travelling by private coach

The negative test result requirement applies only to public transport, and not to private coaches.

Travelling on regional buses within 30 kilometres of the border

You do not have to show a negative test result if you are travelling on a regional, cross-border bus and stay within 30 kilometres of the Dutch border on both sides. If the stops where you get on and off the bus are both in the Netherlands you do not need to show a negative test result either.

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, cruise and river cruise ships.

Travelling by car

People arriving in the Netherlands by car currently do not need to present a negative test result. Please note, however, that different countries have imposed different measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you are travelling to the Netherlands by car through one or more other countries, you should check what rules apply there.

Travelling to the Netherlands by car through the Channel Tunnel

People arriving in France from the United Kingdom by car via the Channel Tunnel are required by the French government to have a negative COVID-19 test result. This also applies to people who are travelling onwards to the Netherlands.

The French requirement also applies to freight transport. The test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in the Netherlands. 

Transit through Dutch airports

Passengers who arrive at an airport in the Netherlands by air and continue their journey by air without leaving the airport are also required to present a negative test result.

Test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior to arrival

You test must have been tested no more than 72 hours before your scheduled arrival in the Netherlands. On arriving in the Netherlands you must immediately self-quarantine for 10 days.

If you are unable to present a negative test result, you will be asked to leave the train or coach at the first stop in the Netherlands. You will not be fined.

No negative test declaration required

People coming from EU/Schengen countries are only required to present a negative test result that meets the requirements. People coming from countries outside the EU/Schengen area are required to present both a negative test result and a negative test declaration bearing their signature.

Exceptions to the requirement to present a negative test result

The following people do not need a negative test result:

  • Children under 13;
  • People arriving from Iceland;
  • People arriving from countries on the EU list of safe countries;
  • Cross-border commuters (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 as part of their job, in order to perform their job or after performing their job;
  • Heads of state and members of foreign governments;
  • Individuals who work in the goods transport sector, and other transportation personnel in so far as necessary. This includes lorry drivers and individuals who work on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. of 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 as part of their job, in order to perform work or after performing work. This 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 a 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 travel is delayed through no fault of the passenger, a negative result of a test conducted up to 96 hours before arrival (instead of 72 hours) will be accepted. This gives the passenger an extra 24 hours. The passenger is responsible for proving the time limit was exceeded due to a delay that was no fault of their own.

No travel to the Netherlands if test result is positive

If a passenger cannot present a negative test result and declaration before departure, they may not travel to the Netherlands and will not be permitted to board the aircraft or ship. On arrival in the Netherlands, safety region officials will check that passengers have a negative test result.

Negative test result is not a health declaration

Passengers arriving in the Netherlands by air 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.

Self-quarantine

A negative test result 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.