The Netherlands Just Dropped Pre-arrival Testing — What to Know If You're Going
The Netherlands became the latest European country to drop pre-arrival testing for international visitors on Wednesday, joining other nations in easing pandemic-related measures.
The country eliminated the pre-arrival test for qualified travelers entering the Netherlands from outside the EU/Schengen area, according to the government. However, the Netherlands still requires travelers from most countries, including the United States, to be either vaccinated or have contracted COVID-19 and recovered within the past six months in order to come.
The Netherlands requires vaccinated travelers to have a booster shot if it has been more than 270 days (about 9 months) after the final dose of their initial vaccination series.
The simpler entry requirements come on the same day as the Netherlands has dropped other coronavirus-related safety measures, including the requirement to wear face masks on public transportation. However, masks must still be worn on airplanes and in airports.
The country has also eliminated pre-admission testing for large nightclubs and large events.
"In recent weeks, coronavirus infection rates have once again increased. However, the current variant is making people less ill and the number of people being admitted to intensive care is limited," the government wrote in its guidance. "So the government has decided to further ease the current measures."
While the government will still require masks be worn onboard aircraft, Dutch carrier KLM vowed to stop enforcing its mask policy on Wednesday, telling local news outlet RTL News it was "disappointing that the use of face masks during boarding and during the entire flight is still being considered by the Dutch government, while this has been abandoned everywhere in the Netherlands."
"Due to the increasing number of 'unruly' incidents on board, KLM no longer monitors wearing face masks on flights to countries that do not make this mandatory. KLM urgently advises these passengers to wear a face mask," a representative from KLM told Travel + Leisure. "The Dutch government has indicated that KLM does not have to maintain on board if there is a threat of conflict."
The easing of restrictions comes as COVID-19 cases have started to decrease in the Netherlands, which is averaging about 45,000 new infections reported each day, according to Reuters.
Several other European countries have also eased or eliminated pandemic-era rules, including Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, which eliminated passenger locator forms and all additional tests after initially dropping its pre-departure test requirement for vaccinated travelers in February.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.