Health Alert: Update Regarding COVID-19, U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam, Netherlands

May 20, 2020 –

Location: The Netherlands

U.S. Consulate Operations: Effective March 17, 2020, the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam has suspended routine consular services. Check out our COVID-19 FAQs for U.S. citizens for answers to the most common COVID-19 related questions. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information or contact us via email at AmsterdamUSC@state.gov or call  +(31) (0) 70 310 2209.

Status of Passport Applications:  To prevent the spread of COVID-19, staffing has been reduced at passport agencies and printing facilities in the United States. If you have previously applied for a passport or citizenship service, you should expect significant delays receiving your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.  Please consider waiting to apply until we resume normal operations.

For those with urgent travel needs, the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam can assist with an emergency passport for an adult or a minor.  To request an emergency passport appointment in Amsterdam, please send an email to AmsterdamUSC@state.gov with “EMERGENCY PASSPORT RENEWAL” in the subject line and details regarding the urgent need to travel.

UPDATE – EU Travel Restrictions: The Dutch government is strictly enforcing the EU travel restrictions banning all non-essential travel from outside the EU. The ban has been extended through June 15, 2020. U.S. citizens (and other non-EU citizens and non-residents) are prohibited from entering the Netherlands except for those in certain categories of travelers including passengers transiting Amsterdam Schiphol airport. U.S. citizens are permitted to transit Schiphol airport, remain airside, and continue onward to the United States. Passengers will not be permitted to exit the transit area and should have a confirmed onward flight to the U.S. prior to commencing travel. Exemptions to entry restrictions only exist for a very small group of travelers, and most U.S. citizens that do not hold Dutch citizenship and/or residency will not be allowed to enter the Netherlands.  Although there exists an exemption for “compelling reasons to visit family,” the Dutch are strictly interpreting this as cases involving life or death, such as visiting a terminally ill family member or attendance at a funeral. A fact sheet outlining the Netherlands’ enforcement of EU travel restrictions and applicable exemptions to the ban is available at: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands/qas-travel-restrictions-for-the-netherlands

Face Masks Mandatory on Public Transport Beginning June 1: The Dutch government has begun easing certain restrictions including re-opening schools, salons, restaurants and bars. However, many restrictions are still in place and effective June 1, the use of non-surgical face masks will become mandatory on public transport. The Dutch government continues to ask everyone 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. Groups of more than two people who do not maintain 1.5-meter (5 feet) separation and who are not from the same family will face fines up to 400 euros. Those who do not have a face masks on buses, trams, and trains will also face fines of 95 euros. 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 social distancing measures is available at https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/05/06/avoid-busy-places-and-stay-1.5-metres-away-from-others.

The Dutch government has also outlined the next steps in the process of easing restrictions and provided this information at https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/05/19/tackling-coronavirus-the-next-step

Commercial Flights Available: International commercial flight options currently exist in the Netherlands. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in the Netherlands at this time. The schedule of available flights out of Schiphol airport remains fluid. Flights may not be daily, please check directly with the airlines for details.  As of today, KLM maintains direct service to New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Delta maintains direct service to Detroit and Atlanta. United maintains service to Newark.

KLM and Delta provide step-by-step instructions on rebooking a flight or requesting a voucher for passengers whose travel plans have been impacted by the coronavirus:
https://www.klm.com/travel/us_en/prepare_for_travel/up_to_date/flight_update/index.htm
https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-update-center/how-to-cancel-or-change-your-flight

Face Coverings on Commercial Flights: Multiple airlines have implemented facial covering policies at airports and on their flights. Please check with your airline directly regarding the requirements prior to commencing travel. We are aware of the following facial covering policies:

Effective May 4, Delta and United airlines have begun requiring all employees and customers to wear face coverings beginning at the check-in lobby all the way through boarding and for the duration of the flights. Customers are being asked to bring their own face coverings, but the airlines will supply them to customers who need them.

Effective May 11, KLM will require face masks during boarding and for the duration of all flights. Passengers on KLM flights will be required to provide their own face masks.

Health Screenings for Passengers Traveling to Schiphol Airport:  Effective April 17, the Dutch government is requiring all passengers whose flights originate in areas with a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 to complete a health declaration prior to boarding a flight to the Netherlands.  Several airports in the EU and the United States are included on this list.  Airlines will request that passengers complete the health declaration prior to boarding and conduct a visual screening of each passenger.  The health declaration is available for download on the Dutch government’s website.

The list of high risk countries and airports subject to this requirement is available on the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) website: https://www.easa.europa.eu/SD-2020-01/Airports.  All flights from the U.S. to Schiphol airport have been included on this list.

Dutch Residency Permit Extensions:  If your stay in the Netherlands will exceed the period authorized, contact the Dutch immigration service (IND) immediately for assistance.  The Dutch government is aware that it may be more difficult to return to your home during this period and will work with you to extend your visa or residency permit if necessary.  If your residency permit is expiring and you cannot leave the country, you should request an extension and IND will let you know if it is possible to extend your stay.  If you are staying in the Netherlands on a short-stay visa and cannot leave the country, you can also apply for an extension. Please call the IND information line at 088 04 30430 and have your visa or residency number available during the call.

If you are in the Netherlands visa free, but your 90 days have expired, you cannot apply for an extension of that period. While the Dutch government will be less strict in enforcing penalties and removals at this time, they do expect you to try to return home as soon as possible.  Please visit the IND Coronavirus FAQ page for more information: https://ind.nl/en/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx.

Actions to Take:

Assistance:

U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
Museumplein 19
1071 DJ Amsterdam
+(31) (0) 70 310 2209
AmsterdamUSC@state.gov
https://nl.usembassy.gov/  

Department of State – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Netherlands Country Information
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