Requirements when travelling to Holland

Requirements when travelling to Holland

Requirements when travelling to Holland just now are confusing. Advice and guidance can change at the drop of a hat. As a passenger it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct documentation in place prior to travelling. Failure to fully comply with these measures will result in you not be able to travel.

Entry requirements

This page has information on travelling to the Netherlands. Check what you must do to return to the UK.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK.

The authorities in the Netherlands set and enforce entry rules.

If you’re fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated UK nationals who can provide acceptable proof of vaccination, which includes the NHS COVID Pass, are allowed to enter the Netherlands.

Fully vaccinated travellers aged 12 and over arriving in the Netherlands from the UK via aeroplane, ferry, passenger car, train or bus must show one of the following:

  • a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure), or;
  • a negative antigen test result (taken no more than 24 hours before departure)

All travellers aged 13 and over from very high-risk areas, including the UK, must quarantine for 10 days. From 2 February, travellers who received their booster vaccination at least 7 days before entry into the Netherlands will be exempt from the mandatory quarantine. All travellers must present a completed quarantine declaration form, upon entry regardless of vaccination status.

If you are required to self-quarantine, you must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival at your home address or accommodation. You must also be reachable on the phone number you provided on the quarantine declaration. Officials will check. If you do not open the door or answer the phone, you may be fined.

Shortening your quarantine

You may leave quarantine to take a PCR test on day 5 after arriving in the Netherlands. If the result is negative, you can end your self-quarantine on the day you received the result. If the test result is positive, you need to continue quarantining. You will receive further instructions from the local health authorities. Alternatively, if you do not choose to take a test on day 5, you need to complete 10 days of self-quarantine. See the Dutch government’s website for full details of quarantine requirements.

Testing to end quarantine early is only possible if your stay in the Netherlands is longer than 5 days. If your stay is 5 days or shorter, you should self-isolate for the entire duration of your stay. Even if your test on day 5 is negative, the Dutch government advises you to take extra care. Avoid people in higher-risk groups until after day 10.

Appointments

You can make an appointment in advance to get tested for free on day 5 of your self-isolation by calling the municipal health service (GGD) on 0800 1202. (or +31 850 659 063 if you are calling from a foreign phone). You can also make an appointment online, but this is only possible on the day of your test.

Further information, including exemptions to the quarantine and testing requirements, can be found on the Dutch government website.

Find out if you qualify as fully vaccinated in the Netherlands on the website of the Dutch government.

Travellers by aeroplane must also complete a health declaration form. They must have it ready to show upon request during their journey. This is not required if you travel by ferry or road. On arrival, your form will be checked by public health and security authorities.

If you are travelling via France or Belgium, check FCDO Travel Advice for those countries, as testing requirements and validity may differ. The Dutch border police carry out random checks at the land borders to check compliance with entry requirements.

Proof of vaccination status

Dutch authorities will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies, in paper or digital form. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel, and 28 days in the case of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. From 2 February, travellers who received their booster vaccine at least 7 days before travel will be exempt from the mandatory quarantine. An NHS appointment card from vaccination centres does not qualify as proof of vaccination. Travellers must also present a vaccine declaration form.

Residents of the Netherlands

UK nationals who are legally resident in the Netherlands are allowed to re-enter the country regardless of their vaccination status, but will need to show one of the following:

  • a residency permit
  • a certificate of application

They may be subject to questioning by Dutch border authorities when they arrive in the Netherlands.

This measure does not apply to those travelling to the Netherlands from a country that is on the list of safe countries/regions, published by the Dutch government.

Travellers by aeroplane must also complete a health declaration form and have it ready to show it upon request during their journey.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

If you’re not fully vaccinated or a legal resident of the Netherlands, you are only allowed to enter the Netherlands from the UK if you meet the requirements of an exemption category of the EU entry ban, as established by the Dutch government. Under this entry ban, non-EU/EEA nationals and nationals of non-Schengen states arriving from outside the Schengen area will not be permitted entry to the Netherlands for non-essential purposes, unless they are fully vaccinated. An overview of all exemption categories can be found on the website of the Dutch government. Examples include:

  • Partners of UK nationals who hold a Netherlands residence permit issued under Article 50 TEU (Withdrawal Agreement). Partners must meet the criteria set out by the Dutch government and must carry with them a copy of their partner’s residence permit. See the Dutch government’s website for further information and the full criteria travellers must meet
  • Close family members of seriously or terminally ill patients, or those attending the funeral of a close family member. Travellers must complete a form before travelling
  • Grandparents visiting their new born grandchildren. Travellers must complete a form before travelling
  • Divorced parents visiting any child(ren) who are minors. Travellers must complete a form before travelling

If you do not meet the requirements

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and who do not meet requirements of an EU entry ban exemption category, are not allowed to enter the Netherlands from the UK.

If travellers who are not fully vaccinated meet the requirements of an exemption category, they must in addition adhere to the following:

  • travellers aged 12 years and over, need to show proof of a negative test:
  • a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure), or;
  • a negative antigen test result (taken no more than 24 hours before departure)
  • all travellers need to show a completed quarantine declaration form
  • health declaration is also required if travelling by aeroplane.

Not having these forms may result in a fine.

Travellers aged 13 and over from very high-risk areas, including the UK, must quarantine for 10 days. This is regardless of vaccination status and applies to travellers arriving by all means of transportation.

All passengers arriving in the Netherlands must carry a completed quarantine declaration form.

If you are required to quarantine, you must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival at your home address or accommodation. You must also be reachable on the phone number you provided on the quarantine declaration. Officials will check. If you do not open the door or answer the phone, you may be fined.

Shortening your quarantine

You may leave quarantine to take a PCR test on day 5 after arriving in the Netherlands. If the result is negative, you can end your self-quarantine on the day you received the result. on the condition that the test result is positive, you need to continue quarantining and you will receive further instructions from the local health authorities. If you do not choose to take a test on day 5, you need to complete 10 days of self-quarantine. See the Dutch government’s website for full details of quarantine requirements.

Testing to end quarantine early is only possible if your stay in the Netherlands is longer than 5 days. If your stay is 5 days or shorter, you should self-isolate for the entire duration of your stay. Even if your test on day 5 is negative, the Dutch government advises you to take extra care and avoid people in higher-risk groups until after day 10.

You can make an appointment in advance to get tested for free on day 5 of your self-isolation by calling the municipal health service (GGD) on 0800 1202 (or +31 850 659 063 if you are calling from a foreign phone). You can also make an appointment online, but this is only possible on the day of your test.

Further information, including exemptions to the quarantine and testing requirements, can be found on the Dutch government website.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year

You cannot use the NHS COVID Pass to demonstrate proof of COVID-19 recovery when entering the Netherlands. Travellers from the UK must provide a negative test result, or meet entry ban exemption requirements and show negative test results if they are not fully vaccinated, as outlined above.

Residents of the Netherlands

UK nationals who are legally resident in the Netherlands are allowed to re-enter the country regardless of their vaccination status, but will need to show one of the following:

  • a residency permit
  • a certificate of application

They may be subject to questioning by Dutch border authorities when they arrive in the Netherlands.

This measure does not apply to those travelling to the Netherlands from a country that is on the list of safe countries/regions, published by the Dutch government.

Travellers by aeroplane must also complete a health declaration form and have it ready to show it upon request during their journey.

Children and young people

Children aged 11 and under are exempt from testing requirements.

Minors aged 12 and under are exempt from mandatory quarantine.

Children aged 12 and over travelling with their parents, do not have to show a proof of vaccination, but do need to show a negative test result.

Minors aged 13 and over must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands, with the option to shorten their quarantine to 5 days as outlined above. This applies to children travelling with vaccinated adults, too. Exemptions can be found on the website of the Dutch government.

Dutch border authorities have strengthened their precautions against child abduction. Parents (particularly fathers) travelling in sole charge of their children are regularly stopped for further checks at Schiphol airport and occasionally prevented from boarding flights.

You should carry a signed authorisation form for travelling abroad with a minor and associated documents (outlined in the above link). See also Get permission to take a child abroad.

If you’re transiting through the Netherlands

Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

Travellers from the UK are allowed to change planes in the Netherlands if:

  • they are travelling from a country/region on the Dutch government’s list of safe countries, or;
  • they are fully vaccinated, or;
  • the purpose of their trip falls under one of these EU entry ban exemption categories:
    • They are travelling through the Netherlands to a non-EU/Schengen country. Travellers must prove that they have a connecting flight that departs within 48 hours of arrival in the Netherlands. Travellers must not leave the airport’s transit zone, or;
    • They are travelling through the Netherlands to another EU/Schengen country. Travellers must carry proof that they have permission to enter the EU/Schengen country in question.

Tourists who change planes in the Netherlands who continue their journey within 1 day upon arrival in the Netherlands, do not need to show a proof of vaccination or negative test result, providing they do not leave the airport.

Travellers from the UK who change planes in the Netherlands must carry a completed quarantine declaration form, stating they are exempt.

All travellers by air who are aged 12 and over must also carry a health declaration form.

If you are travelling via France or Belgium, check FCDO Travel Advice for those countries, as testing requirements and validity differ.

Further information about transiting through the Netherlands can be found on the website of the Dutch government.

Exemptions

HGV drivers

HGV drivers from the UK entering the Netherlands do not have to show a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery and do not have to quarantine. They must carry an employer’s declaration to demonstrate the essential nature of their travel. More information is available on the website of the National Association of Transport Operators.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must meet the Schengen area rules.

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

We are asking the European Commission to clarify the 10-year rule. Their guidance for Schengen border guards may not be updated until the spring of 2022. Until then, for some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.

Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.

Contact your travel provider or embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • if you are travelling to the Netherlands and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Dutch government’s entry requirements. Check with the Netherlands Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit you may need
  • if you stay in the Netherlands with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in the Netherlands or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Dutch Border Control

At Dutch border control, you may need to queue in separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through the Netherlands as a visitor. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.

You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

If you are resident in the Netherlands your passport should not be stamped. You should proactively show your proof of residence as well as your valid passport at Dutch border control. For further information, see our Living in the Netherlands guide.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from The Netherlands.

Moving to the Netherlands

If you intend to live in the Netherlands, you should get important documents (birth certificate and marriage certificates) officially certified (apostilled) at the FCDO Legalisation Office.

Returning to the UK

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. The Dutch Municipal Health Service (GGD) can only be used for testing if you have COVID-19 symptoms. See the Dutch Government’s website for more details of how and where to get tested for travel purposes. Always check that the type of test and the test result certificate meets the full testing requirements (e.g. name of the test provider and their contact details, if appropriate) for entry into either EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

*The information detailed over the next few pages comes from the combination of information from all of our operators websites.

Other Countries Travel Requirements

We have compiled a few handy guides to help you see what travel requirements are in place.

Travelling to France requirements

Requirements for travelling to Ireland

Travelling to Spain requirements

Requirements when travelling to UK

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