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COVID 19 update July

July 23rd, 2021

To inform you about the recent changes regarding to the COVID-19 measures, we have the following update:

There was no other choice than to take summertime measures due to rapid increase in infections.

The coronavirus infection rate in The Netherlands has increased much faster than expected since everything reopened almost completely on 26 June. The increased infection rate does not currently represent a threat to vulnerable groups or to the capacity of the healthcare system. However, such a high number of infectious people can be a risk for people who have not, or not yet, been fully vaccinated.
The government is concerned and has therefore decided that extra measures are necessary for this summer.

We must be careful and stay alert. This includes following the basic rules always:

  • Good hygiene: washing your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow;
  • Developing symptoms: stay home and get tested;
  • Keep 1,5-metre distancing;

Measures that will be in place from now until at least 13 August 2021, inclusive:

  • Maximum of visitors at home will no longer be a restriction, but keep parties small and manageable. Make sure everyone stays 1.5 meters from one another – even those who have already been vaccinated.
  • Face mask requirement dropped in most situations. It will continue to apply only in situations where staying 1.5m apart is impossible.
  • More scope for working at the office. Employees can work up to half of their hours in the office. People must stay 1.5-metre apart at all times.
  • Assigned seating and 1.5-metre distancing required in restaurants and bars. All restaurants and bars must be closed from midnight until 06.00. Entertainment in the form of live performances and loud music is prohibited. Discos and nightclubs must close again.
  • Assigned seating at events, cultural venues and sports venues. Cultural venues may remain open provided all visitors have assigned seats that are placed 1.5 meters apart. Events may not last longer than 24 hours.
  • No changes for locations with a continuous flow of visitors. They may admit 1 visitor per 5 square meters.
  • Important to read travel advice in full. Travelling to other countries is still a risk and will remain a risk. The increased infection rate in The Netherlands could have consequences for a carefree holiday abroad. Other countries may impose extra measures on Dutch tourists. Each country can set its own requirements, so you should always check the latest travel advice before you leave on wijsopreis.nl (available in Dutch only).
  • Free coronavirus test for people travelling abroad

Travel ban

People who have been fully vaccinated for 14 days can be exempted from the EU entry ban, unless they are travelling from a country that has been designated as a very high-risk area due to the presence of a variant. Still, you may only enter the Netherlands if the purpose of your trip falls under one of the exemption categories and is the following still mandatory:

  • Mandatory quarantine with declaration;
  • Negative COVID-19 test result;
  • Health declaration;

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

  • EU citizens and their family members
  • You are a national or resident of one of the following countries: Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino or Vatican City. 
  • Third-country nationals of a non-EU country and have a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EEC (concerning long-term residents). 
  • Third-country nationals of a non-EU country, but derive your right of residence from other EU directives or the national law of a Schengen country. 
  • Holders of a long-stay visa (authorisation for temporary stay or ‘MVV’).
  • Holders of a letter of notification from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service for long-term stay.
  • Holders of a valid residence permit for The Netherlands. 

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

  • Healthcare professionals, or researcher.
  • Cross-border commuter ans seasonal worker.
    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
  • People who require international protection (normal border procedures apply)
  • Seafarers in possession of a seaman’s record book
  • Professionals providing urgent technical assistance in a crucial sector and their specialist knowledge and physical presence are required.
  • Diplomats.
  • Service passport holders and Member of the armed forces that need to travel to carry out your duties.
  • Staff members of international and humanitarian organizations.
  • Journalist, professional in the cultural and creative sector, elite athletes and their support staff, business traveller as defined in the framework for applying the exemption.
  • 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
  • Students who are coming to The Netherlands for a stay of longer than 3 months, and have a sponsor letter from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
  • Highly skilled migrants who are coming to The Netherlands for a stay of longer than 3 months, and have a sponsor letter from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Please note: Even, if you are permitted to travel to The Netherlands because you fall into an exemption category, you may also be required to self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival. This depends on the country you are travelling from. 

The treaty officers at the border will determine whether an 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 who will stay in The Netherlands for a period longer than 3 months, 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 closed due to COVID-19, it is not possible to travel to The Netherlands as a highly skilled migrant without obtaining their MVV visa.

If the highly skilled migrant does not need a MVV visa to travel to The Netherlands, assignees are only allowed to travel with their IND approval letter, a negative COVID-19 tests, a health certificate and a written statement from their employer stating that they need to be in The Netherlands for their work and why. It must also state why the highly skilled migrant cannot come to The Netherlands at a later time.

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. 

On 1 July 2021 the Digital COVID Certificate WAS introduced. This certificate makes is easier for people to travel within the European Union (EU) during the COVID 19 pandemic. 

  • Urgent advice to self-quarantine no longer applies in certain cases. The urgent advice to self-quarantine on arrival for people travelling from a high-risk area will no longer apply to people travelling within the EU who can show a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery.
  • Fully vaccinated people can be exempted from EU entry ban. People who have been fully vaccinated for 14 days can be exempted from the EU entry ban, unless they are travelling from a country that has been designated as a very high-risk area due to the presence of a variant of concern.
  • Negative NAAT or antigen test result accepted. The Netherlands accepts negative NAAT test results (test conducted no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in The Netherlands) and negative antigen test results (test conducted no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in The Netherlands). The results of self-tests are not accepted.
  • Negative test result no longer required in certain cases. Travelers within the EU who can show proof of vaccination or proof of recovery (for example a Digital COVID Certificate), no longer need to show a negative NAAT or antigen test result.
  • Negative test result and mandatory quarantine still required for people travelling from very high-risk areas. Travelers from very high-risk areas are always required to show a negative test results and to self-quarantine on arrival. Proof of vaccination or proof of recovery does not exempt them from this.

We would like to point out to you that these COVID-19 measures are changing on a daily base. Therefore, we will monitor the situation with the IND and other government offices closely and inform you of any further developments and the consequences on our services.
Would you like to know more or do you need assistance, please reach out to us!