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Traveling back to The Netherlands from a yellow country? Corona certificate!

by Elisa Flitter Fever
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Returning to The Netherlands from a country with yellow travel advice from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs? You will need to be able to show a Corona certificate. This new rule is applicable for everyone from 12 years and older, arriving in The Netherlands after Sunday August 8, 2021 00:00h. The good news is: not much changes for people who are fully vaccinated and for those who have recovered from COVID-19 less than six months ago.

Corona Check app Mijn bewijzen Corona certificate
Corona Check app

What is a Corona certificate

  1. Vaccination certificate (fully vaccinated), or a
  2. Recovery certificate, or a
  3. Recent test certificate (PCR or antigen)

People who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, should be able to generate (before departure) and prove this via the Corona Check app (on smart phone or printed version of the QR-code). For that group not much changes really, except for being able to show official proof (#1 or #2 mentioned above). But you must be fully vaccinated.

Do you want to travel based on a proof of recovery? Then the certificate must have been issued by an EU member state. The positive COVID-19 test must have been taken at least 11 days ago and maximum 180 days (6 months). A positive result of a self-test or serological blood test is not valid. The GGD is the official institute for this in The Netherlands.

Warning: if you are unable to show a Corona certificate when required, or if it is no longer valid, you can get a fine of EUR 95. Or get refused to board by your carrier.

Test before traveling back to NL

If you do not have #1 or #2 mentioned above, you will need a test certificate as your form of Corona certificate. This COVID-19 test must be done in the country with yellow travel advice, before you travel back to the Netherlands. This can be a:

  • PCR test – taken up to 48 hours before departure back to The Netherlands
  • Antigen test – taken up to 24 hours before departure back to The Netherlands

The costs of a COVID-19 test in the country with yellow travel advice are at the traveler’s own expense. In some countries those tests are for free. Check where you can get a PCR or antigen test out outside The Netherlands. If your test validity is expired due to flight is delay beyond your control, this is acceptable upon arrival.

Traveling back to The Netherlands is only allowed if the test result is negative. If the test is positive, you cannot travel and need to wait until you test negative again. In most cases, the extra costs for having to stay longer in that country, are not covered by your travel insurance. Please check in advance with your insurance company.

The carrier who transports you back to The Netherlands, so airline or boat/bus/train company, has the obligation to check whether your Corona certificate is valid before boarding. When traveling back to the Netherlands on your own by car or motor, you have a chance to be checked at the Dutch border for a Corona certificate. This check is done by the Royal Netherlands Military Police (Marechaussee).

This is not applicable when returning from a country with green travel advice. And it is also not applicable either for Netherlands residents traveling through The Netherlands only.

Positive COVID PCR test result
COVID PCR test result

Yellow marked countries

These rules are applicable for people coming back from all countries with yellow travel advice by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So coming back from EU/Schengen countries, other European countries and countries outside of Europe. The following 44 countries currently (August 8, 2021) have yellow travel advice:

  • Andorra
  • Albania
  • Armenia*
  • Aruba
  • Azerbaijan*
  • Belgium
  • Bonaire
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Curacao
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kosovo
  • Lebanon**
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia**
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • St. Martin
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine*
  • United States
  • Vatican City

* this country also has red areas, ** this country also has orange and red areas (status August 8, 2021)

Always check the latest status and the entry rules per country when preparing and going on a trip. See the website Nederland Wereldwijd or download the Reizen app. Note: you must search for the country by its name in Dutch.

Tip: download the Reizen app and mark your future travel destinations as favorite to receive push messages in case the travel advice changes.

Test after arrival in The Netherlands

For all travelers who have returned in the Netherlands after a trip abroad, the governmental advice is: test yourself. Even after vaccination and/or if you have had COVID-19. This because you can still carry the virus with you and infect others (although significantly less chance when vaccinated).

For travelers coming back from a country with yellow travel advice, who have you not yet been fully vaccinated, or who have had COVID-19, are urgently advised to take a free COVID-19 test at the GGD (or do a self-test) on day 2 and day 5 after arrival. Even if you have no symptoms. If you have a vaccination certificate or if you have an official recovery certificate, you can choose to do a self-test. This is an urgent advice, not an obligation.

COVID-19 PCR test results the same day Netherlands
COVID-19 PCR test

Just an example

These rules are set to limit virus spreading and to make travel safer. They make it less attractive for unvaccinated people – who have a siginificantly bigger chance to get and spread the virus – to travel. For example, currently, when you are not vaccinated and you want to travel from The Netherlands to Curacao and back to The Netherlands, you should test in total five times:

  1. Max 72 hours before departure to Curacao*
  2. 3 days after arrival in Curacao*
  3. Max 24 to 48 hours before return to The Netherlands**
  4. 2 days after return in The Netherlands***
  5. 5 days after return The Netherlands***

Another example: Jordan. This country also has yellow travel advice at the moment. When you are not vaccinated you should do at least 5 tests if you want to travel from The Netherlands to Jordan and back to The Netherlands:

  1. Max 72 hours before departure to Jordan*
  2. Upon arrival at the airport in Jordan (country specific rule)
  3. Max 24 to 48 hours before return to The Netherlands**
  4. 2 days after return The Netherlands***
  5. 5 days after return The Netherlands***

Plus, if you want to visit Aquaba, Petra and/or Wadi Rum, you must also show a negative test result that is max 72 hours old.

* country specific rule also applicable if fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, ** depending on type of test you choose, *** urgent advice, not mandatory

Also good to know

Did you you receive one or more vaccinations abroad in stead of in The Netherlands? Therefore having trouble to generate a QR-code for a Corona certificate with the Corona Check app? Check this governmental Q&A page on that topic (use Google Translate).

There are currently no EU member countries with a mandatory quarantine upon return to The Netherlands. This may change in case a new virus variant pops up. Part of the countries that are marked with orange travel advice (all outside EU) have a quarantine obligation for travelers returning to The Netherlands. Those countries are all marked orange, but not all orange marked countries have this quarantine obligation! Read more in the article Quarantine obligation after return to The Netherlands: for which countries?.

A lot of countries currently ask for a valid test certificate upon arrival in that country. The GGD only provides such test certificates for free in July and August 2021. When you need a COVID-19 test certificate for travel purposes by September 1, 2021 or later, you will need to pay for a test again. For a great option see: Easy, fast & safe COVID_19 test with certificate in The Netherlands.

So fortunately, for fully vaccinated people and recent COVID-19 survivors, not much will actually change as of August 8, 2021. The Corona certificate is easy to get. Unvaccinated, travel minded people will face more and more consequences of their decision. This is a growing trend. Vaccinated people do not want to suffer any more because of people who do not want to get vaccinated in The Netherlands. This thought seems to be supported by the approach set by the Dutch government, whether you like it or not.

Sources: Rijksoverheid, Nederland Wereldwijd

I wrote several articles about COVID-19. Want to read more on this topic? Check out the COVID-19 Blog Archives.

Last Updated on 10/22/2021 by Elisa Flitter Fever

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