COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information

Last updated: 10/14/2020 

Country-Specific Information:

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/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/current-information.

On September 15, 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-and-percentage-of-positive-tests-are-increasing

On October 14, the government implemented additional measures to control the spread of COVID-19.  For more information visit: https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/10/13/partial-lockdown-needed-to-bring-down-infections

These measures are in addition to the measures put in place on September 1 and 28: https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/09/28/additional-measures-to-combat-the-spread-of-coronavirushttps://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/vraag-en-antwoord/persconferentie-1-september-in-eenvoudige-taal-de-situatie-met-corona

The Dutch government asks residents and visitors to comply with the measures in place to fight the spread of COVID-19:  maintain social distance (stay 1.5 meters apart), wash hands, sneeze and cough into your elbow, use paper tissues, stay home, work from home if possible, and get tested at the first sign of symptoms.  For detailed information regarding the measures: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands

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 self-isolate, monitor their health, check their temperature twice a day, and report to the GGD.

The Dutch government has developed a voluntary coronavirus tracking app available for download by all residents and visitors to the Netherlands.  The app lets you know if you have been near someone with coronavirus.  For additional information visit https://coronamelder.nl/en/

The Dutch government’s measures to combat COVID-19:

  • Everyone is advised to work from home unless it is not possible to complete their duties from home. Workplaces may be closed for 14 days if a COVID infection occurs.
  • Everyone must maintain 1.5 meters distance, wash hands often, avoid crowds, and stay home if experiencing fever or other symptoms.
  • Everyone 13 years old and over must wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
  • The maximum number of people allowed in an indoor, seated, public venue is 30.
  • A maximum of 3 guests are permitted in private residences in both indoor and outdoor areas per day. This is in addition to the members of the household and excludes children under 13.  Guests should also be asked whether they have any symptoms and if they do, should not be received.  Guests should maintain 1.5-meter distance from each other.
  • A maximum of 4 people from different households are permitted in indoor and outdoor public spaces. There is no maximum number of people if they are all from the same household.
  • All establishments that serve food and beverages are closed for dining-in and can only provide take-away or delivery service. Exceptions include hotels providing food for hotel guests, funeral locations, and the airport establishments (after the security screening area).
  • Retail stores must close by 8:00 pm. Grocery stores may remain open later.
  • No alcohol or soft drug sales and deliveries between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am. Consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs in public spaces between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am is prohibited.
  • Events are banned except for food markets, trade fairs, conferences, cinemas, theatres, matches, competitions, and demonstrations or gatherings referred to in the Public Assemblies Act.
  • Museums, monuments, and libraries require reservations, pre-entry health checks, and assigned seating, with a 30-person maximum occupancy limit, excluding staff.
  • Nightclubs remain closed.
  • Retailers must limit the number of shoppers to ensure they remain 1.5 meters apart. Grocery stores will provide designated shopping hours for vulnerable groups. If retail locations are too busy and do not comply with the measures they can be closed.
  • Contact professions (i.e. barbers, hairdressers, nail salons, opticians, etc.) provide services by appointment only. Customers are required to demonstrate they do not have COVID-19 symptoms and provide their names and contact information for GGD contact tracing.
  • Sports and recreational activities may continue with no more than 4 people total for those 18 years old and over. 5- meter social distancing restrictions must be maintained.  Sports clubhouses, canteens, showers, and changing rooms are closed. Competitions are not permitted. Children under 18 may participate in team sports, including matches and competitions within their own club.
  • Certain elite athletic events may continue but must be held without spectators.
  • Campgrounds and vacation parks, gyms, saunas, casinos, sports/dance schools, and museums remain open but must comply with indoor and outdoor capacity limits and ensure that guests maintain 1.5-meter social distance, undergo a health screening, and pre-register guests to provide contact information for GGD contract tracing if someone is infected. There are a number of exceptions to the limitations on the number of guests indoors and outdoors for certain groups/activities and they are listed here:  https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/09/28/additional-measures-to-combat-the-spread-of-coronavirus
  • Travel should be kept to a minimum.
  • Primary and secondary schools remain open. Students in secondary and higher educations institutions must wear a face mask when not in class.  Children must stay home if they have symptoms or if someone in their household is waiting for a COVID-19 test result or if someone tests positive for COVID-19.  Colleges and universities should host virtual orientation sessions.
  • 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, including the list of exceptions to the measures.  The English language translation of the Dutch government’s latest announcement regarding the measures is available at:  https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/09/28/additional-measures-to-combat-the-spread-of-coronavirus

The Dutch government has authorized local officials at the regional and municipal level to implement additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including the mandatory use of face masks in designated public spaces, limiting opening times of restaurants and cafes, closing parks or shopping centers, closing public parking facilities, managing traffic flow or crowds, and banning large scale gatherings.

The measures may vary in different areas and visitors are encouraged to always carry a face mask and heed the guidance of local authorities.  The Dutch government has provided “urgent advice” to wear masks in indoor spaces in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, and Eindhoven.  While the masks are not mandatory, shopkeepers my refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? NO, if resident in the U.S. or any other country currently subject to the EU travel restrictions. 

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? NO

  • Travelers entering the Netherlands from certain high-risk locations are advised to self-quarantine for 10 days or get tested if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.   For more information regarding COVID-19 testing in the Netherlands: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-test
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? YES
  • All passengers arriving or departing at Schiphol Airport and any other Dutch airports must complete a health declaration.  The form is available at https://www.schiphol.nl/healthdeclaration

Visa and Residency Extensions: If your stay in the Netherlands will exceed the period authorized and you cannot leave, contact the Dutch immigration service (IND) immediately for assistance at 088 04 30430.  If you are currently in the possession of a Dutch visa or residency card, be sure to have it available during the call.  If you are staying in the Netherlands on a short-stay visa and cannot leave the country, you can apply for an extension.  If you were not granted an extension of stay, the Dutch government has asked all non-EU residents to return home as soon as they are able.  The Dutch government is aware that it may be more difficult to return during this period and will therefore be less strict in enforcing penalties and removals at this time.  You are expected to make every effort to return to the United States before your visa expires, however.  For more information visit: https://ind.nl/en/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Transiting Schiphol Airport:

Travel to the U.S. Or Other Country Outside of the EU: Travelers from areas outside of the EU are being permitted to transit Schiphol airport, remain airside for up to 48 hours, 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 must 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.

Travel to a Country within the EU:  Travelers from areas outside of the EU are permitted to transit Schiphol airport on their way to another EU destination if they are resident within the EU, qualify for an exemption based on the Dutch conditions for entry, or are resident in a country exempted from the EU travel ban.   Travelers without evidence of legal residency in the EU or who do not qualify for one of the exemptions to the restrictions may be denied entry at Schiphol airport when seeking to transit the Netherlands on their way to another EU country. Travelers not resident in the EU or who do not qualify for one of the Dutch travel exemptions should consider obtaining a direct flight from the U.S. to the country in the EU that will be granting the exemption to the travel restrictions.  Entry rules vary between countries in the EU and Schengen zone and travelers should consult with the Dutch Embassy in the U.S. prior to attempting to transit the Netherlands on their way to another EU country.

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.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? NO
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? NO

Quarantine Information:

Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? NO, but the government strongly advises travelers entering from a high-risk area or who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive to quarantine for 10 days.

The Dutch government strongly advises a 10-day self-isolation period for passengers arriving in the Netherlands from locations that are considered high-risk areas for coronavirus infection, including the United States.  For more information visit https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tackling-new-coronavirus-in-the-netherlands/travel-and-holidays/self-quarantine.

Country specific information regarding quarantine requirements when returning to the Netherlands is available at https://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/reizen/reisadviezen.  The website is only available in Dutch, although Google’s Chrome translate feature works well.  The webpage allows for selecting countries from a drop-down menu for country specific travel advice.

Travelers who are tested for COVID-19 after arrival and who test negative are not subject to the 10-day self-isolation period.

COVID-19 Testing:

Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with a possible coronavirus infection, including loss of smell or taste, may schedule an appointment to be tested by the GGD.  COVID-19 testing can be scheduled online by visiting https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-test or calling 0800-1202 (7 days a week between 8 am and 8 pm).  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 regarding testing please see: https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-covid-19

COVID-19 testing conducted by the GGD is free of charge. For more information on COVID-19 testing for tourists: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/tourism-in-the-netherlands

KLM offers COVID-19 testing at Schiphol airport to travelers not covered by the Dutch testing policy.  These tests are generally provided to persons travelling from the Netherlands to a country which requires a negative test before they are permitted to enter that country. Information on the KLM testing center can be found at https://klmhealthservices.com/en/journey-preparation/coronatest/

Transportation Options:

Are commercial flights operating? YES

Commercial flights between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and multiple U.S. airports 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.

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.

Is public transportation operating? YES

Non-surgical face masks are mandatory on public transport including trains, trams, buses, taxis, and passenger vans.  An advance reservation and completion of 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.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

The fine for not wearing a mask in public transport is 95 euros.

The fine for not maintaining the required 1.5-meter social distance is 95 euros for anyone 13-17 years of age and in the company of adults.  The fine for anyone 18 years old and over is 390 euros.

The Dutch government has authorized local officials at the regional and municipal level to implement additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to levy fines for non-compliance.  Measures and fines for non-compliance will vary at the local level.

For questions regarding COVID-19 related violations, crimes, and fines visit  https://www.politie.nl/en/themes/corona-virus-and-police-work.html.

Consular Operations:

limited routine passport services, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, Federal Benefits (Social Security and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number applications), Certificates of Loss of Nationality, and notarial services including Affidavits of Civil Status.  To schedule a passport appointment please visit our website.  For information on Federal Benefits/Social Security/ITIN Services information please review our Social Security webpage.  For all other inquiries and any emergency requests, please email ACS at AmsterdamUSC@state.gov.

The Visa Unit at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam has resumed limited visa services per Department of State regulations and space limitations of our facility.  The Visa Unit is currently processing limited visa categories including immigrant visas (IR-1, IR-2, CR1, CR-2) and non-immigrant visas  (A, C1/D, E, F-1/F-2, G, certain J-1/J-2, M-1/M-2, and certain petition-based visa categories).  We will also continue to provide emergency and mission critical services.  If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at  https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-nl/niv or contact us via email at fae_contactus+nl+info+en@visaops.net or call +31 20 241 0364 (Netherlands) and +1 703 543 9346 (U.S.) to request an emergency appointment.

Foreign travelers to the U.S. are reminded that travel restrictions pursuant to Presidential Proclamations 10052, 9993, and 9996 are still in place.  Visa and ESTA holders who have an urgent need to travel to the U.S. and believe that you may qualify for one of the exceptions to the travel restrictions should contact the Visa Unit at AmsterdamCOVID19@state.gov.  For information on the U.S. travel restrictions and exceptions visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html.

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