The whole world on orange
The directive of the Dutch government to only travel necessary until mid-March 2021, has led to the fact that since Wednesday, December 16, the travel advice for the whole world has been adjusted to minimum orange. What does this mean? What consequences does this have for you as a business traveller? What are the airlift tests from America for? And is the Dutch government really going to introduce a travel declaration?
Orange or red travel advice
All non-necessary trips are not recommended by the government with orange and/or red travel advice. This has not so much to do with the situation abroad, but because in the Netherlands we have to stay at home as much as possible and make as few travel movements as possible.
But what is essential or necessary? On the website of the Dutch government it says that vacations and family visits are not necessary journeys. But what about business trips? A difficult question that is not easy to answer and for every organization has its own considerations. Ask yourself the question if travel really is necessary in the coming period or if it can be postponed.
Still on the road
You or your business traveller has to go abroad, what does this mean and what has to be taken into account? First of all, the local measures and restrictions at the destination, but also the conditions drawn up by the airline or train company. Via a handy overview map on our website you can see at a glance what this means for your destination.
Travelling to the Netherlands
It depends on your situation whether or not you can travel to the Netherlands. This has to do with the European entry ban.
- Are you a business traveller from within the EU or Schengen? Then you are free to travel (back) to the Netherlands. In that case, you only need to take the quarantine rules into account.
- Are you a business traveller from outside the EU or Schengen? Then the government allows you to travel to the Netherlands if you meet the conditions for the exception of entry ban in the interest of the Dutch economy and society. Depending on which country you are travelling from, you will need to spend a number of days in quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.
Negative test result upon arrival in the Netherlands
Travellers from countries outside the EU or Schengen that are not on the list of safe countries and that are also exempt from the EU entry ban, must show a negative test result when entering the Netherlands. This rule does not yet apply to Dutch and other EU or Schengen citizens travelling from outside the EU or Schengen (back) until Monday, December 28th.
But as of Tuesday, December 29th, this negative PCR test declaration will become mandatory for all passengers coming to the Netherlands from other countries with code orange or red, including Dutch and other EU citizens. The test may be taken up to 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands. Upon return, the urgent advice for a home quarantine of ten days applies, even if the test was negative.
In addition, the Dutch government is looking into a mandatory travel declaration. This could be an ultimate means of forcing people not to travel. It will still take some time before the declaration is possibly introduced. The Dutch minister Van Nieuwenhuizen will present further information in January 2021, in which, among other things, it must be defined what falls under necessary travel.
From Atlanta to Amsterdam, Delta Air Lines and KLM started special COVID-tested flights. This trial will take place for three weeks with adapted quarantine rules. It will be examined whether this way of admitting people, who have to make a necessary journey from a high-risk area to the EU, will lead to better compliance with the quarantine rules. Special flights are only offered in this form between 15 December 2020 and 6 January 2021.
The conditions for this include that a PCR test must be carried out five days prior to arrival in Amsterdam with self-isolation until departure. Prior to departure in Atlanta, a quick test for antigens will be done and immediately upon arrival at Schiphol Airport another test will be done. If this second test is negative after a quarantine of five days including flight, the quarantine will be over immediately after that result. With this test the period can be halved from ten to five days.
We at VCK Travel are curious about the evaluation of the authorities, so that business travel might be easier to plan in the future.
A number of countries have closed their airspace to Dutch and/or European flights. This weekend, additional travel restrictions were also imposed by a new virus variant, with a flight and mooring ban from the United Kingdom and a flight ban from South Africa. But the rules change daily. Fortunately, it is now possible to return from these two countries to the Netherlands, if a recent negative PCR test can be handed over. After this test, however, there is still a quarantine obligation of ten days upon arrival in the Netherlands. For up to date information we refer you to www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl (in Dutch).
Do you have a necessary journey? Please contact our Travel Consultants and they will help you on your way and look for the best possibilities.
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