Ask a COVID-19 Question
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Overview of the frequently asked COVID-19-related questions for U.S. Citizens.
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- The Netherlands continues to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders. Weekly updates to the number of infections are being tracked on the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) website: https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/current-information-about-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
- On July 21, RIVM published an announcement regarding the significant increase in the number of cases and the rate of infection. For more information visit https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/number-of-covid-19-infections-is-increasing. The Dutch government asks residents and visitors to comply with the measures in place to fight the spread of COVID-19: maintain social distancing (stay 1.5 meters apart), wash hands, sneeze and cough into your elbow, use paper tissues, stay home and work from home if possible, and get tested at the first sign of symptoms.
- The Municipal Health Service (GGD) of the Netherlands and RIVM put the following protocol into action when a new COVID-19 infection is identified: isolation, contact investigation, and monitoring of the patient. People identified as contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 patient must monitor their health, check their temperature twice a day, and report to the GGD.
- Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with a possible coronavirus infection, including loss of smell or taste, may call the national hotline and schedule an appointment to be tested by the GGD. Please call 0800-1202 to schedule an appointment. Please note that this test is only to establish whether you currently have the corona virus, not whether you may have had it previously. For more information please see: https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-covid-19
- The Dutch government implemented measures to combat COVID-19:
- Contact professions (i.e. barbers, hairdressers, nail salons, opticians, etc.) have resumed providing services. Services are by appointment only and customers are required to demonstrate they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Libraries have re-opened and non-contact sports such as golf and tennis have resume, but competitions are not allowed.
- Other sports and recreational activities have resumed if 1.5- meter social distancing restrictions are maintained.
- Primary and secondary schools have re-opened.
- Cinemas, restaurants, cafes, and museums have re-opened. Reservations are required, with a 100-person maximum occupancy limit, excluding staff. Nightclubs remain closed until September 1.
- Campgrounds and vacation parks, cinemas, restaurants, cafes, gyms, saunas, casinos, sports/dance schools, and museums have re-opened and the maximum occupancy limit indoors is 100. Organized meetings/events of up to 100 people are also permitted. If guests register in advance, maintain 1.5-meter social distance, and undergo a health screening, the occupancy limits may be waived.
- Up to 250 people (excluding staff) may be in the same space outdoors but must maintain 1.5-meter distance, complete a health questionnaire, make a reservation, and have their own seat. Zoos and amusement parks are exempt from visitor occupancy limits.
- Non-surgical face masks are mandatory on public transport including trains, trams, buses, taxis, and passenger vans. An advance reservation and responding to a health questionnaire are required for taxis and passenger vans. On all other types of transport (such as canal/river boats) passengers must maintain 1.5-meter distance.
- The Dutch government encourages everyone to continue to maintain 1.5 meters distance, wash hands often, avoid crowds, work from home as much as possible, and stay home if experiencing fever or other symptoms.
- The 1.5-meter rule does not apply to health workers, caretakers, hairdressers, masseuses, driving instructors, athletes, actors, dancers, people who live together, children aged 12 and under, and teenagers aged 17 and under when interacting with other teenagers and children.
- Visit the Dutch government’s COVID-19 website for more information on the measures. The English language translation of the Dutch government’s latest announcement regarding the measures is available at: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands and https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/documents/publications/2020/06/24/press-conference-about-coronavirus-new-rules-from-1-july-explained-in-simple-language
- The Dutch government has authorized local officials at the municipal level to implement additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including the mandatory use of face masks in designated public spaces. The measures may vary in different municipalities and visitors are encouraged to carry a face mask when visiting public spaces.
- Commercial flights from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the United States are available. Visit the Schiphol Airport Coronavirus webpage for updated travel information and check with your airline to ensure you will be permitted to travel to Schiphol for transit onwards to the U.S.
- Face Coverings on Commercial Flights: Airlines have implemented facial covering policies at the airport and on their flights. Please check with your airline directly regarding the requirements prior to commencing travel. Face coverings are available for sale at various locations at Schiphol airport.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- The Dutch government strictly enforces the EU travel restrictions banning non-essential travel from outside the EU with limited exceptions. The ban went into effect on March 19, 2020 and has been extended until further notice. On July 1, the EU non-essential travel ban was lifted for the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. The list of countries whose residents will be allowed to enter the EU will be reviewed every two weeks.
- A fact sheet outlining the Netherlands’ enforcement of EU travel restrictions (including the current list of countries whose residents are allowed to enter the EU) is available at: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands
- Travelers residing in the U.S. who meet the criteria of one of the exemptions as listed on the Dutch Government’s website may be granted entry into the Netherlands: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands
- On July 16, the Dutch Ministry of Justice announced an additional exemption for foreigners engaged in long-distance relationships with Dutch citizens/residents. For more information visit: https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/07/16/minister-grapperhaus-relaxes-rules-for-long-distance-relationships
- Travelers with questions regarding travel to the Netherlands, including questions about the restrictions and exemptions, should contact the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 call center at +31 247 247 247.
- As of June 15, the Netherlands began accepting tourists that are resident in EU countries where the health risks are similar to, or lower than, those in the Netherlands. Tourists must comply with all the measures and rules that apply to combat the spread of coronavirus. Tourists must also reserve their holiday accommodation before they travel to the Netherlands. For the latest information, visit the FAQ on holiday travel to the Netherlands: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/documents/frequently-asked-questions/qa-holidays-to-the-netherlands. Before planning a visit to the Netherlands please review the Dutch government website on the travel restrictions: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands.
- The European Union has developed an interactive tool to provide information needed for planning travel to Europe. Visit https://reopen.europa.eu/en for information on border restrictions, transportation options, and medical/quarantine requirements.
Transiting Schiphol Airport:
- Only those travelers resident within the EU or resident in a country granted an exemption from the EU travel ban will be permitted to transit the Netherlands on the way to another tourist destination within the EU. Although individual countries may decide to allow non-EU resident tourists to enter, the Dutch will strictly enforce the travel restrictions on non-essential travel from outside of the EU. Travelers without evidence of legal residency in the EU have been denied entry at Schiphol airport when seeking to enter the Netherlands or transit the Netherlands on their way to another EU country. Please note that even if another EU country is willing to grant entry to a non-EU resident under a country-specific exemption, that exemption from the travel restrictions may not be accepted by the Dutch Government. U.S. citizens not resident in the EU seeking to enter another EU country should NOT transit Schiphol Airport. Post highly recommends obtaining a direct flight from the U.S. to the country in the EU that will be granting the exemption to the travel restrictions.
- Before planning a visit to the Netherlands please review the Dutch government website on the travel restrictions: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands or call the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ call center at: +31 247 247 247.
- Travelers from areas outside of the EU are being permitted to transit Schiphol airport, remain airside, and continue onward to destinations outside the EU, including the U.S. However, passengers will not be permitted to exit the transit area, therefore, they should have a confirmed onward flight outside of the EU prior to commencing travel. Note that it will not be possible to leave the transit area to check your luggage onto a new flight. A list of overnight stay hotel and shower facilities accessible from the transit area is available at https://www.schiphol.nl/en/at-schiphol/services/sleep-after-passport-control. Please contact the facilities directly prior to departure to ensure they will be operating during your transit through Schiphol airport.
- For additional information regarding the Netherlands’ entry and exit requirements and restrictions please visit the COVID-19 Information Page on our website.
- The Netherlands has classified COVID-19 as a “Category A” Infectious disease. Category A classification allows for measures such as isolation and quarantine if necessary.
- The Dutch government has implemented a 14-day self-isolation requirement for passengers arriving in the Netherlands from locations that are considered high-risk areas for coronavirus infection, including the U.S. For more information please review the Dutch government’s self-isolation policy at https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/documents/publications/2020/04/05/letter-self-quarantine-and-other-coronavirus-measures . The list of high-risk areas is available here: https://www.easa.europa.eu/SD-2020-01/Airports
- Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) on COVID-19
- Municipal Health Services Centers in the Netherlands (GGD GHOR)
- Dutch Travel Ban Information Page
- Dutch Government’s Information Page on Measures to Fight COVID-19
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- U.S. Mission to The Netherlands FAQs for U.S. Citizens
- CDC page on COVID-19
- Department of Homeland Security’s website
- Travel.state.gov Netherlands Information and Travel Advisory page