Netherlands scraps pre-departure Covid tests

Netherlands scraps pre-departure Covid tests
Amsterdam city breaks are back, test- and largely mask-free, in time for Easter

As of today, the Netherlands has scrapped its pre-travel test requirement for visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

“From 23 March all travellers from the UK to the Netherlands will not require a negative pre-departure test for travel to the Netherlands, regardless of their vaccination status,” reads the latest advice from the Foreign Office.

Previously, vaccinated visitors had to show a negative antigen or PCR test result prior to departure, while unvaccinated Brits needed a special exemption in order to visit.

However, rules appear to remain in place dictating that only vaccinated visitors can enter the Netherlands from the UK, as it has a ban in place on non-EU countries.

Those not on the Netherlands’ “safe” list of countries exempt from this ban, such as the UK, need a special exemption to enter the country if they are not fully vaccinated.

This means fully vaccinated people can enter test free, with proof of vaccination, but unvaccinated people cannot enter until the non-EU ban is lifted or the UK is placed on the Dutch “safe list”.

The country had previously implemented mandatory quarantine for all British travellers, but this was lifted on 25 February.

Visitors who qualify for entry must still complete a health declaration form before travel.

The Dutch government is advising all holidaymakers to take a self-test on the day of arrival, and another on day five of their trip, but this is not enforced nor tracked.

Also from 23 March, the country’s authorities have announced that face masks will no longer need to be worn on public transport, taxis, coaches and ferries, making an Easter city break to Amsterdam a much more relaxed affair.

Covid passports are also being abandoned for entry to nightclubs and large events, where they had previously been required for events with more than 500 people.

However, “face masks must still be worn on aircraft and at airports beyond the security checkpoint,” instructs the Netherlands’ government advice.