The Netherlands walks back quarantine mandate for vaccinated travelers

Sep 16, 2021

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Keeping track of the ever-changing entry requirements and restrictions can be extremely frustrating for travelers eager to book a vacation. But the Netherlands is complicating things further by quickly flip-flopping on a new quarantine mandate.

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Less than two weeks after imposing a 10-day quarantine for travelers (regardless of vaccination status) from the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries deemed “high risk,” Dutch officials have changed their minds and decided to roll back the directive.

From 22 September, fully vaccinated visitors from the U.K., the U.S. and other countries on that list will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands, according to USA Today.

Vaccinated travelers are still required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result upon arrival. People who are 13 and older who arrive by plane must also fill out a health declaration and carry it with them throughout their trip.

Unvaccinated visitors from high-risk countries are still prohibited from entering the Netherlands.

The reversal will no doubt be surprising to some, and frustrating for any travelers who spent the past few weeks scrambling to change their travel plans after the self-isolation mandate was put into effect.

It also comes right after Dutch officials decided to end social distancing measures and launch digital health passes (given to people who are fully vaccinated, tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours or can prove they have recovered from COVID-19). The move should help Dutch nightclubs, bars, events and festivals get back to business.

It’s no secret the travel industry was unhappy with the quarantine mandate given the recent efforts to revive travel.

In June, the Netherlands had reopened to American travelers with few restrictions: No vaccine, no quarantine, not even a negative test required for entry.

But the implementation of the 10-day quarantine period came after the EU recommended tighter restrictions on U.S. travelers, in particular, due to the spread of the delta variant. The Netherlands was the only country to take such drastic action.

The country’s flagship airline, KLM, criticized the decision, calling it “a big step backwards” in a statement.

Featured photo by Artie Photography Artie Ng/Getty Images.

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