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COVID 19 update July

July 19th, 2020

The European member states agreed on the gradual and partial lifting of the EU travel ban that was in force from mid-March to 1 July 2020 in relation to COVID19.

On 30 June 2020, the Dutch government adopted the EU recommendations. The new entry policy has no expiry date and is therefore valid until further notice.

As of 1 July 2020, The Netherlands has lifted the travel ban for certain groups of travellers, allowing permanent (long-term) residents of the following countries to enter The Netherlands: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The ban on travellers from China will be lifted once China allows entry to EU citizens.

The list of countries will be reviewed every 2 weeks (or sooner if necessary). Countries can be added to a certain category if the health situation with regard to COVID19 allows it. If, in view of COVID19, the health situation in a country deteriorates, the country can be listed in the category of countries from which one is not allowed to travel to The Netherlands.

To prevent the spread of COVID19, existing restrictions will remain in place for non-essential travel to Europe (all European Union member states, Schengen area countries and the United Kingdom) by individuals from all other countries. Individuals who are not permanent (long-term) residents of any of the countries listed above and who do not fall into any of the exempted categories below may not enter The Netherlands.

The travel ban does not apply to the following groups of people:

  • EU citizens (including British nationals) and their family members
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City and Andorra, and their family members
  • Third-country nationals who have a residence card or residence permit in accordance with EU Directive 2003/109/EC concerning long-term residents
  • Third-country nationals whose right of residence is derived from other EU directives or the national law of a member state
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including those with an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV).

Third-country nationals who are key workers or have exceptional circumstances are also exempted. These are:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Cross-border commuters
  • In so far as necessary, people working in the transport of goods and other transport workers. These are people who work on container ships, bulk carriers (e.g. transporting ore or coal), tankers (e.g. transporting fuels and chemicals), fishing boats; people who work in the energy sector, i.e. on oil and gas platforms and at wind parks, and for off-shore companies that provide services to this sector; and flight crews
  • Diplomats
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Staff members of international and humanitarian organisations
  • People with compelling reasons to visit their family (exceptional cases). An exceptional case would be to visit a terminally ill family member and to attend their funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren are second-degree
  • Transit passengers travelling to a third country via The Netherlands or another Schengen country
  • People who require international protection (normal border procedures apply)
  • People admitted on humanitarian grounds
  • Seafarers in possession of a seaman’s record book
  • Students
  • Highly skilled migrants

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether the exception is applicable. It is not possible to get a confirmation in advance to determine if an exceptional category is applicable. Therefore, we recommend assignees that they travel well equipped with documentation to prove their status and reason for travelling.

Highly skilled migrants

Highly skilled migrants have been added to the list of exceptions, however, if the assignee needs a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands and the embassies/consulates abroad are still closed due to COVID 19, it is not possible to travel to The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant without obtaining a MVV visa. This is only possible when they are key workers and there are urgent reasons for the assignees to start working as soon as possible. Urgent reasons such as the assignee can demonstrate that there is an emergency related to one of the crucial professions or vital processes and that he/she is indispensable for the vital processes.

If a highly skilled migrants do not need a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands, and the country they are traveling from is not on the exception list of countries for which the travel ban has been lifted, assignees are only allowed to travel if they can show the IND approval letter for study or highly skilled migrant (including accompanying family members who have a derived residence status).

Via IATA TIMATIC, the airline companies are informed that the IND notification letter for these categories is sufficient for travel and admission to The Netherlands. However, the IND has indicated that this only applies to direct flights to The Netherlands. Other (transit) countries may not accept this proof.

Health declaration

When entering Schiphol Airport, a health certificate and wearing a mask is compulsory. Passengers on all inbound and outbound flights in and from The Netherlands are required to fill in a certificate with questions about health complaints that fit in with COVID-19. This health certificate form is provided by the airline prior to boarding. In addition, at the check-in and before entering the aircraft, the airline staff must carry out a health check. The Netherlands makes it compulsory for passengers in the aircraft and at Dutch airports to wear a non-medical mouthpiece during check-in, security and border processes and boarding.


The Dutch government highly recommends to self-quarantine for two weeks if you travel to The Netherlands.

Travelers from countries for which the travel ban has not been lifted, can only travel to The Netherlands, if one of the exemption categories of the travel ban is applicable. For these exception categories there is an urgent advice for self-quarantine at home for two weeks. This also applies to Dutch citizens, people with a residence permit who return from these so-called “unsafe” countries.

For the countries for which the travel has been lifted, there is no urgent recommendation for self-quarantine. Those countries have an equivalent health situation in view of COVID 19.

Last but not least, the following groups will be exempted from the urgent advice of self-quarantine: Care professionals (including medical researchers and care personnel for the elderly); border workers, transport personnel, diplomats, personnel of international organizations and persons invited by international organizations, persons travelling for necessary family reasons, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers, personnel for civil protection, passengers in transit and seafarers.