Q&A's Travel restrictions for the Netherlands (travel ban)

As from Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:00 entry conditions to the Netherlands are stricter. Read the questions and answers for more detailed information about the travel ban.

As a national from the US, Australia, Canada I do not need a long-stay visa. Could I travel to the Netherlands?

If the travel is non-essential, you can be refused at the border. In case of doubt, please contact the IND.

Due to COVID-19, can I still enter the Netherlands?

Based on the approach proposed by the European Commission the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands decided that the restriction of non-essential travel to the Netherlands enters into force on 19 March on 18:00 hr.

This temporary restriction applies in principle for 30 days from 19 March 2020 and might be extended if necessary.

Thus, a foreigner traveling to Netherlands from another State than an EEA-State or Switzerland should be denied entry to the country and be expelled.

I am a foreigner and I have a tourist visa for the Netherlands, can I enter?

No. This is a restriction on all non-essential travel of persons from third countries to Europe (all EU member states, all Schengen members and the UK) in order to prevent the spread of the COVID19 virus.

In view of the above, you will be refused entry based on Article 6 of the Schengen Code paragraph 1(e).

Are there exceptions, those who are allowed to enter?

The travel restriction does not apply to the following categories of persons:

  • EU citizens (including UK nationals) and members of their families;
  • Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and their family members;
  • Third-country nationals holding a residence card or a residence permit in accordance with Directive 2003/109/EC (LTR Directive);
  • Third-country nationals who derive their right of residence from other European Directives or from the national law of a Member State;
  • Holders of a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (MVV);
  • Other persons with an essential function or need, including:
    • Personnel working in Health Care;
    • Border workers;
    • Persons employed in the transportation of goods, where necessary;
    • Diplomats;
    • Military personnel;
    • Personnel of international and humanitarian organizations;
    • Persons who have compelling reasons to visit their families;
    • Transit passengers who wish to travel via the Netherlands to another third country;
    • Persons in need of international protection; the border procedure applies in full;
    • Persons who are admitted for humanitarian reasons.

I may fall under the category of exceptions; I have compelling reasons to visit my family members in the Netherlands?

As far as the category of persons travelling for necessary family circumstances, this concerns travel in exceptional cases. An exceptional case is visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. It is intended for 1st degree and 2nd degree family members. This includes the partner and children being 1st degree and grandchildren being 2nd degree.

Until when does this restriction apply?

This temporary restriction applies in principle for a period of 30 days as of 19 March 2020 and may be extended if necessary.

I still have a valid Schengen visa, may I enter the Netherlands?

No, if it concerns a non-essential journey and you are not covered by the exceptions, you will be refused entry on the basis of Article 6 of the Schengen Code paragraph 1(e).

I have a transit visa. Can I travel via Schiphol?

Yes, this is part of the exception category and if you are in possession of a travel ticket to a third country, you may transit via Schiphol directly to a third country.

I am in possession of an MVV. Can I travel to the Netherlands?

Yes, this is part of the exceptional category, you can - if possible - travel to the Netherlands, and you will be granted entry.

Could I have an assurance in advance if in doubt for the exceptional category?

No, this is not possible. Border control will determine whether the exception applies to you. We therefore advise you to travel well informed and in a well-documented way.

If you have any questions, please contact the IND.

I have a visa, I do not fall into an exception category but have a Certificate of Health from my country. Can I still enter?

No, you cannot enter. Unfortunately, the Certificate of Health is not accepted at the border.

What is the approach with regard to non-essential travel to the European Union?

The European Commission has published the Communication on COVID 19: Temporary Restriction on Non-Essential Travel to the EU on 16 March 2020. The aim of this communication is a harmonized approach of the European Member States to address the COVID 19 virus via a temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days, on a coordinated  restriction of non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days.