Negative PCR test declaration also required for travel by international coach, train and ship

The government decided today that from 29 December anyone travelling to the Netherlands by train, coach or ship from abroad must have a negative test declaration. From 00:01 on 29 December rail and coach companies offering international public passenger transport will impose this requirement on all passengers. The negative PCR test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours before the passenger’s arrival in the Netherlands. The negative test is an additional requirement and not a substitute for the guideline applying to all passengers to self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival. The government continues to urge everyone to refrain from non-essential travel and to comply with the hygiene and quarantine guidelines.

Trains and coaches

The requirement applies to all passengers and operators of public transport by intercity train and supraregional cross-border coach transport. Regional cross-border bus transport is excluded from the regulation. The exemptions from the requirement are published on Government.nl.

Transport operators are required to carry out checks either during boarding or during the journey, but always before the first stop in the Netherlands. Operators may ask passengers who do not have a recent negative test declaration to disembark the coach or train.

International ferries and river cruises

Following consultations with ports and safety regions, the government has also decided that from today operators of vessels that sail to the Netherlands from any high-risk area (within or outside the EU) are required to check that all passengers aged 13 and older have a negative PCR test result before permitting them to board. Passengers who do not have a negative PCR test result that meets the requirements will not be allowed to board the vessel. This applies to international ferry services and other water-based passenger transport, including ocean, sea and river cruises. This requirement already applies to ferry services to the UK. The government will issue instructions requiring the negative test declaration before other ferry services or cruise ships resume operations.

When these stricter rules come into effect on 29 December, there will no longer be a difference between the requirements for international travel to the Netherlands by air, rail, coach and ship. The introduction of the requirement to present a recent negative PCR test declaration for every means of transport to the Netherlands is necessary in order to minimise the risk of infection and spread of coronavirus.