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Since March 2020, travel to the Netherlands has been restricted with several measures. These travel restrictions originate from European law regulations drawn up by the European Commission on the one hand, and national regulations on the other hand. This article provides an overview of the current restrictions. We will also discuss exceptions to the entry restrictions.



The Council of the European Union recommended a gradual lifting of entry restrictions from 30 June 2020. Until that date it was not possible to make non-essential journeys to a country within the European Union. The recommendation includes a list of countries from which travel to the EU is permitted. This list is updated from time to time and published on our website. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City are considered EU residents under the recommendation.
If a non-EU country is not included in the list published by the Council, this means that all non-essential journeys to the EU+ area are not allowed. In addition to 26 of the 27 EU member states, the EU+ area also includes four states that fall under the Schengen Convention, namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Ireland is the only Member State that is not a party to the European travel restrictions.

National/The Netherlands

The travel restrictions that apply to the European Union are in principle the same as in the Netherlands. This means that in order to travel to the Netherlands for a non-essential journey, the same list of countries from which these journeys are permitted will be used as indicated earlier.

However, there are several specific exceptional situations when traveling to the Netherlands:

  • Temporary arrangement for long-distance lovers
  • Exception entry ban business travelers
  • Exception entry ban for top sport
  • Exception entry ban for culture, science, and journalism

Conditions for the exceptions

For more information, please contact Thomas van Houwelingen.

Changes in entry restrictions

From 4 September 2021 a number of changes came into effect that will impact travel to the Netherlands.

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Exemption from EU entry ban from 1 July 2021

If you want to travel to the Netherlands from a country not on the safe countries list, you will be exempted from the EU entry ban if you have proof of vaccination. This proof needs to be issued according to certain requirements in order to be accepted.

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Travel restrictions lifted

From 24 June 2021 onwards the following countries will be added to the list:

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EU travel restrictions relaxed

On May 12, 2021, the government announced that travel restrictions for the following travelers from outside the EU will be relaxed:

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Travel restrictions to the Netherlands

Update 1 June 2021

As of 1 June 2021, the ban on flights from India, South Africa and countries in Central and South America has been lifted.

Self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival is now mandatory. You can shorten this period if you take a test on day 5 and the result is negative. Check the government website for details.
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Negative Covid-19 test result required upon entry

From 15 December, 2020, travelers by airplane or by ship, who are 13 years or older and arrive from a country that is not on the list of safe countries, must show a negative test result upon arrival at the (air)port in the Netherlands.

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Travel restrictions lifted for unmarried partners (short stay)

[update: July 27 2020]

On July 16 the Minister of Justice and Security announced that travel restrictions for unmarried partners from non-EU countries would be relaxed from July 27, 2020. Further details have been published.   

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