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Compulsory rapid test for travellers to Netherlands from UK, Ireland and South Africa

Updated: 3 days ago

People travelling to the Netherlands from Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or South Africa must provide proof that they have tested negative for coronavirus following a rapid test directly before departure. The rapid test is an additional, mandatory test for travellers coming to the Netherlands by aircraft or ferry.


For those arriving in the Netherlands by air, this additional requirement will enter into force at 00:01 on 15 January. For those arriving by ferry, the requirement will come into force at 00:01 on 19 January.


Travellers must provide:

  • proof of a negative result from a rapid test (antigen test);

  • proof of a negative result from a PCR test;

  • a signed negative test declaration form (for those travelling from the UK and South Africa).

  • A negative test result is not a substitute for self-quarantining. People with a negative test result should still self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands.

You can also opt to show proof of a negative result from a LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test only. A LAMP test result is accepted provided the test was performed no more than four hours before boarding and you have the test result. In this case you can show a negative LAMP test result instead of a negative result from a rapid antigen test and a negative PCR test result.


Information that must be provided on the mandatory rapid test result

The negative test result must be in English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or Dutch. The document must contain the following information:

  • Type of test: the test used must be a rapid test (antigen or a LAMP test);

  • Test result: the test result must be negative (or ‘not detected’) for SARS-CoV-2;

  • Passenger’s first and last name as stated in their passport;

  • Date and time of test: for passengers, the test must have been conducted no more than four hours prior to boarding the aircraft or ferry. For people working in the transport sector, the test must have been conducted no more than 24 hours prior to boarding the aircraft or ferry;

  • Logo, stamp or details of the doctor or institute that conducted the test.

  • Either a digital or paper copy of the test result may be shown.

A translation of the test result will be accepted provided the translation bears the original signature or stamp of the doctor or institute that conducted the test.


Rapid test required for those arriving by aircraft or ferry

The additional rapid test requirement applies to those arriving in the Netherlands by aircraft from Ireland and South Africa, or by aircraft or ferry from the UK. The new requirement also applies to people working in the transport sector, such as lorry drivers, and to ferry and airline crews. The rapid test requirement already applies to people travelling to the Netherlands from the UK via the Eurotunnel or Eurostar.


People travelling by air can take a rapid test at a number of airports. As a result, travellers should add at least one hour onto their travelling time. Please ask the airport of departure if rapid testing is available there. There are no rapid testing sites at ferry terminals. Ask your ferry operator where suitable rapid testing sites are located.


The rapid test is also mandatory for travellers arriving in the Netherlands by air from Ireland, the UK and South Africa after a layover in a country where a rapid test is not mandatory. Likewise, travellers from Ireland, the UK and South Africa transiting through an airport in the Netherlands must show a negative result from a rapid test.


Exceptions to the rapid test requirement

The following groups of people are exempted from the rapid test requirement:

  • Children younger than 13.

  • Cross-border commuters, students and school children.

  • Holders of a diplomatic identity card issued by the Nederlands Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken.

  • Holders of non-Dutch diplomatic passports.

  • Holders of Dutch diplomatic passports, if they are travelling in the exercise of their work or whose physical presence is required for work.

  • Heads of state and members of foreign governments.

  • Seafarers on board ferries or passenger ships who are not leaving the ship or travelling to and from it. The exemption does not apply to seafarers on commercial yachts and pleasure craft.

  • Air crew, provided they do not leave the aircraft in the UK, Ireland or South Africa and are immediately flying back to the Netherlands or onwards to another destination.

  • Air passengers whose flight does not have the Netherlands as its final destination but which must divert to the Netherlands due to unforeseen circumstances.

  • Travellers in possession of a NATO travel order or a NATO-2 visa.


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