Q&A's Holidays to the Netherlands and coronavirus measures

Tourists from EU or Schengen area countries and the United Kingdom can holiday in the Netherlands. But they must follow Dutch advice and rules to combat COVID-19.

Latest update: 15 June 2020

May foreign tourists come to the Netherlands on holiday?

Foreign tourists from countries where the health risks are similar to or lower than in the Netherlands are welcome to spend their holidays in the Netherlands this summer.

  • Tourists must comply with all the measures and rules that apply in the Netherlands to combat the spread of coronavirus.
  • Tourists must also reserve their holiday accommodation before they travel to the Netherlands.
  • Tourists from Sweden and the United Kingdom arriving in the Netherlands are strongly advised to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Netherlands, along with all other countries covered by the Schengen Agreement and the United Kingdom, has closed its borders to all people from outside Europe except in the case of essential travel.

This travel ban applies up to 1 July 2020. Travellers from high-risk areas within or outside Europe must also produce a completed health screening form, and are strongly urged to self-quarantine for 14 days. The list of high-risk areas can be found here.

What rules do I have to follow during my holiday in the Netherlands?

During your stay in the Netherlands you must follow the rules that have been imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands, including tourists.

  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Don’t shake hands with others.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
  • To get around, use your own vehicle, rent a bike or take a taxi. Use public transport for essential travel only. You must wear a non-medical face mask when using public transport.

Do I have to have a reservation for holiday accommodation?

Yes. Make sure that you reserve your holiday accommodation before you travel to the Netherlands. You may be stopped at the border if you don’t have a valid reservation.

May I travel anywhere I wish within the Netherlands?

There are no restrictions on travel within the Netherlands. However, it’s important to avoid busy places, so please keep this in mind when choosing your destination. Consider going to a different region or city instead of tourist hotspots.    

Will foreign tourists receive fines if they do not observe the rules?

Yes. No distinction is made between Dutch residents and foreign tourists when it comes to enforcing the COVID-19 rules.

May foreign tourists use public transport in the Netherlands?

The same rules apply to both foreign tourists and Dutch tourists: public transport should be used for essential travel only. Tourism is not considered essential travel. Do you have to travel by public transport? Then a face mask is mandatory.

Are face masks compulsory at Amsterdam Schiphol and other airports?

It is not currently compulsory to wear a face mask at Dutch airports.

Are people tested for coronavirus before they board a plane?

No, testing and/or temperature checks are not demanded or performed by Dutch Airlines. Nevertheless temperature checks can be demanded by other countries or foreign airlines.

I'm flying back to the Netherlands from an area with many coronavirus infections. Do special measures apply to me when I arrive?

In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands the Dutch government has decided to implement measures for passengers flying to the Netherlands from areas with many coronavirus infections by means of a health declaration form and self-quarantine. Crew members are exempted from these measures. However, they must comply with the regular fit-to-fly requirements.

ffected Areas with high risk of COVID-19 transmission:
A. EU Member States, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, UK and territories:
All airports located in Sweden and the United Kingdom.
B. Third countries:
Please check the website of the EASA for the list of airports located in affected areas with high risk of transmission of the COVID-19 infection (table B). Please be aware the list contains airports as well as areas per country and will be subject for regular change.

Health declaration form
All passengers travelling to the Netherlands from an airport in a high risk area must complete the health declaration form. The form contains questions related to the presence of symptoms which could be related to COVID-19 virus. Before boarding the crew checks the completed health declaration form.

In case you have one of the symptoms as listed in the health declaration form, you’ll not be accepted on the flight to the Netherlands. This is also applicable for transit passengers.

What does compulsory health screening mean for travelers from high-risk area to the Netherlands?

From 17 April 2020 at 18:00 onwards, a health screening form is compulsory for travelers from high-risk areas travelling to the Netherlands. The declaration-form must be completed before boarding.

When do I have to be in home quarantine?

Travelers from high-risk areas are urgently advised to go into home quarantine for 14 days.

Do I need home quarantine if I come from a non-high-risk area?

According to the applicable advice, other travelers are advised, like all people in the Netherlands, to avoid busy places. Make sure you can always keep 1.5 metres distance from others. If this impossible, go somewhere else. Please check this website for more information.

What alternative options are available to foreign tourists who need to get from/to Schiphol Airport to/from their destination?

A shuttle coach service between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam will be made available. Foreign tourists can also use a taxi service or rent a car.

Are restaurants and cafés in the Netherlands open?

Yes, restaurants, cafés and outdoor seating areas are open in the Netherlands, but special restrictions apply. Reservations are often required for restaurants, cafés and bars (as the number of customers permitted can be limited) and you could be asked whether you have cold-like symptoms or a fever. At all times you must keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people who are not part of your own household. All customers will be seated at a table or at the bar.

Are museums and other places of interest open?

Museums and monuments are open. The maximum number of visitors depends on the size of the building. Visitors could be asked whether they have cold-like symptoms or a fever.

What should I do if I develop symptoms of COVID-19 during my holiday?

If you have symptoms that suggest you may have COVID-19, remain inside wherever you are staying and arrange to be tested. Call 0800-1202 to arrange an appointment. If you test positive for COVID-19, you and any travelling companions must self-isolate in your holiday accommodation for two weeks.