Editor’s Note – Coronavirus cases are moving across the globe. Health authorities warn that staying home is the best way to stop infection until you are fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you are still planning to travel, most recently updated on February 10th.
(CNN) – If you are planning to travel to Amsterdam, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Amsterdam is slowly coming out of its third lockdown since the start of the pandemic, with restrictions lifted across the Netherlands.
The Dutch government first introduced a strict lockdown across the country in December 2020 after a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases. A few weeks later, the Netherlands’ first night curfew since World War II was introduced, leading to riots in Amsterdam and other major cities.
The country’s most recent severe lockdown began in December 2021 due to yet another increase in coronavirus infections. But Amsterdam, along with the rest of the country, is now seeking to return to normal life again.
What is offered
Amsterdam is one of the biggest draws thanks to its historic canals, breathtaking architecture, famous museums and major cultural attractions. The cycling culture of the Dutch city has also contributed to its popularity, and the city remains one of the most favorite destinations in Europe.
Who can go
Residents of the EU are allowed to travel into Amsterdam, along with the rest of the Netherlands, for whatever reason.
However, there are different rules for those traveling from “safe” areas within the EU / Schengen area and those traveling from areas considered high risk.
Arrivals from safe areas must complete a health declaration before their arrival and take a Covid test once they have entered the Netherlands. At present, no countries within the EU / Schengen area have been designated as “safe”.
Those arriving from destinations considered “high risk” within the EU / Schengen area must provide proof of vaccination, proof of cure from Covid-19 or a negative test result.
From 22 December, all travelers from outside the EU / Schengen countries who are not considered to be “very high risk” with a variant of concern must present a negative test before entry together with proof of vaccination or proof of recent recovery from Covid- 19.
Those from destinations that have been designated as “very high risk” areas must be quarantined for 10 days. The quarantine period can be shortened if the traveler returns a negative test result on the fifth day of isolation.
From February 2, travelers who have received a booster shot at least seven days before entering the country will be exempt from quarantine, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.
What are the restrictions?
Those coming from very high-risk countries should show the results of a negative PCR or an antigen test (taken within 48 and 24 hours, respectively, if they arrive by plane).
From 22 December, travelers arriving from safe areas outside the EU who are not identified as “very high risk” must present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result or antigen test taken within 48 hours (or collected within 24 hours for antigen tests).
Travelers from “very high risk” areas outside the EU will be quarantined for 10 days. Returning a further negative test on day five of quarantine means that visitors from these countries can move freely around the country. You can book an appointment to be tested when you are in the Netherlands by calling 0800 1202.
What is the Covid situation?
Covid cases rose in mid-July in the Netherlands, albeit from a low base, driven in part by the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant. Cases had been declining but have begun to rise again in recent months. As of February 17, there have been over 5.9 million cases in the country, with more than 471,000 in the past week. There have been 22,005 deaths as a result of Covid. So far, more than 71% of the population is fully vaccinated.
What can visitors expect?
Amsterdam has slowly been reopened as restrictions in the Netherlands ease.
Bars, cafes and restaurants were allowed to reopen with reduced capacity on January 26, while households can now have up to four guests over the age of 13 in their homes at a time.
The city’s museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, also reopened in late January.
However, the nightclubs must remain closed until further notice.
Mandatory mask in indoor public spaces was reintroduced on November 6th.
The Netherlands has also introduced a coronavirus access card system that is available to those who are fully vaccinated or have valid evidence of cure or a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken less than 24 hours earlier to gain access to specific venues.
The list of places where coronavirus access cards are required has been expanded to include restaurants, museums, cinemas and gyms.