When you don’t have to self-quarantine (stay at home)

Every journey abroad increases the risk of spreading coronavirus. If you decide it’s really essential to travel abroad, you must self-quarantine immediately on arrival in the Netherlands. Certain exceptions apply to the self-quarantine rules.

When travellers are not required to self-quarantine

Some travellers are not required to self-quarantine when they arrive in the Netherlands.

  • if you are a cross-border commuter, student or schoolchild.
  • if you work in goods transport or passenger transport and are crossing the border for work.
  • if you are visiting your partner, spouse, child or parent.

Working, studying or going to school across the border

Cross-border commuters, students and schoolchildren are exempt from the self-quarantine rule for people returning from a COVID-19 risk area. They do not need to self-quarantine if they cross the border for work, study or school. However, certain conditions apply:

Cross-border students and schoolchildren do not need to self-quarantine if:

  • they are required to be physically present at the educational institution. For example, they cannot take part in lessons online; and
  • they are registered with a Dutch educational institution and live permanently outside the Netherlands; or
  • they are registered with a foreign educational institution and live permanently in the Netherlands.

Cross-border commuters do not need to self-quarantine if:

  • they are required to be physically present at work. For example, they cannot work from home; and
  • they live in another EU member state but work in the Netherlands and return at least once a week to their place of residence outside the Netherlands; or
  • they live in the Netherlands but work in another EU member state and return at least once a week to their place of residence.

Goods transport and passenger transport

If you are travelling abroad for your work in the goods transport sector you do not need to self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands. This applies to all forms of transport: air, road, water and rail.

If you are travelling abroad for your work in the passenger transport sector you do not need to self-quarantine either. This applies to pilots, train drivers, bus drivers and seafarers, for example.

Partners, spouses, parents and children

If you are travelling to Belgium or Germany to visit your partner, spouse, parent or child you do not have to self-quarantine. This exemption applies only to the two countries directly bordering the Netherlands (Belgium and Germany).

If you travel to the Netherlands from Belgium or Germany to visit your parent or child you do not have to self-quarantine either.

Temporarily leaving self-quarantine: purposes of travel

You are allowed to temporarily leave self-quarantine for several purposes. This means that you may go out and travel for those purposes if absolutely necessary. Except for these specific purposes, you must still comply with the rules for self-quarantine.

Purposes of travel

You may temporarily leave self-quarantine to travel for the following purposes.

Temporarily leaving self-quarantine: purposes
Purpose of travel Explanatory notes
Official trips by members of a government and/or public servants Necessary outgoing and incoming official trips by members of a government and/or public servants
Participating in top-level sport Participation in top-level sport by athletes who are active at the highest international level
Necessary business travel for the purpose of making a demonstrably significant contribution to the Dutch economy and society

People who travel to the Netherlands for the purpose of starting or continuing activities or investments in the Netherlands and whose trip makes a significant contribution to the Dutch economy and society. See the conditions for travelling to the Netherlands under the exemption to the EU-entry ban in the interests of the Dutch economy and society.

This exemption also applies to business travellers within the EU/EFTA region if the significant contribution to the Dutch economy and society is comparable to the conditions listed for business travellers from outside the EU.

Necessary journalism Journalists with a press card from the International Federation of Journalists who have to be personally, physically present in order to report current news
Necessary research Researchers in the field of healthcare, for example doing COVID-19 research or international cancer research. This also includes researchers who have to travel for their research, and whose research will suffer disproportionately from being interrupted if they cannot make a trip. It could for example include the use of large-scale research infrastructure, and the work of researchers employed by Dutch knowledge institutions who are involved in international partnerships like the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Participation in professional cultural activities Activities of cultural and creative organisations that receive a multiyear grant from Dutch central government, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Cultural Participation Fund, the Performing Arts Fund, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Mondriaan Fund or the Creative Industries Fund NL for the period 2017-2020 or 2021-2024, to which professionals from other countries – such as guest conductors or guest choreographers – make a necessary contribution at the organisation’s invitation. These professionals’ personal physical presence and participation must be decisive for the organisation’s overall ability to conduct its activities
Necessary work in the energy sector Work on oil and gas platforms and at wind farms, and for offshore companies that provide services to this sector
Transit to another country Transit passengers travelling to a third country via the Netherlands or another Schengen country without passing through border control
Necessary work in maritime shipping Work in maritime shipping for which a seafarer’s record book is required. This exception does not apply to seafarers on commercial yachts and pleasure crafts
Necessary work as a diplomat Diplomats travelling in the performance of their duties
Necessary work as military personnel Work related to preparedness and the actual deployment of personnel working for the Defence organisation or of experts whose work is necessary to the functioning of the armed forces
Necessary work for designated international and/or humanitarian organisations Work for designated international organisations
Family visits in exceptional circumstances For example, visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners, parents and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren, grandparents, brothers and sisters are second-degree. This also includes relatives by blood: parents-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, stepbrothers and stepsisters.