British nationals may face NL travel ban from January under Covid rules


British nationals may face a ban on non-essential travel to the Netherlands and the rest of the EU from January 1 because of coronavirus-related restrictions on visitors from outside the EU and EEA.

The European Commission has indicated Britain, as a non-EU country, will no longer be exempt from the current coronavirus travel restrictions once the transition period expires on January 1, the Financial Times has reported. The rules would not effect British nationals who currently live in the Netherlands.

In October, EU member states agreed to allow non essential travel from a small group of countries with low levels of infection, including Australia and New Zealand.

But according to the Financial Times, an EU commission spokesman last week said there were no plans to extend that to the UK. ‘This is a decision for the council to make,’ the spokesman is quoted as saying.

From January 1, British nationals will also have to provide a negative Covid-19 test result when they arrive in the Netherlands by air, rail or sea. The Netherlands is introducing the test requirement for most non-EU nationals on December 15.

Dutch advice

The Netherlands has also updated its formal travel advice for the UK to reflect the new ‘tier’ system in Britain but still says travel should be strictly necessary and ‘not for tourism’.

Travelers to the UK have to self-quarantine for 14 days on their arrival, but this will be shortened to five from December 15, if people can show a negative PCR test result, as long as the test was taken in the UK.

People returning to the Netherlands from Britain also have to go into a 10 day quarantine period at home.

The Dutch foreign office also warns that new rules will come into effect for travel to the UK from January 1, once the transition period has ended, but says these are still being finalised.

Travellers are also being warned to check if their health insurance covers them for emergency treatment while in the UK from 2021.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation