Not vaccinated and on holiday abroad? The rules change from Sunday

Photo: Odi Busman
Photo: Odi Busman

Changes to the rules for people who are returning to the Netherlands from holiday come into force on Sunday.

People who have spent time in a yellow EU country must have a valid coronavirus certificate and those who have not been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will have to take a test in the country where they are staying before they leave.

Yellow countries include popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Italy and Portugal.

The test can be either a PCR test no older than 48 hours, or an antigen test no older than 24 hours. Travellers have to organise and pay for the test themselves and may only return to the Netherlands if the test is negative.

The new rules apply to all forms of transport, including people travelling by private car, and to everyone over the age of 12 who has not been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from coronavirus. Those found to be without proper papers face a fine of €95.

The foreign affairs ministry has drawn up a list of places where holidaymakers can get tests. There are no restrictions on people returning from a green country.


From Sunday, Britain is classified as a very high risk country but without a variant of specific concern. Nevertheless, this still means people coming back from visiting the UK may have to go into quarantine on their arrival in the Netherlands for at least five days.

However, there are a number of exceptions, including for people visiting close family they have not seen for a long period because of the pandemic.

On Friday, the British embassy in the Netherlands published a long list of regulations applying to visits between the two countries on Facebook, some of which have given rise to more confusion. will publish an update on the regulations on Monday, taking readers’ questions into account.

The Netherlands recommends everyone returning from abroad take a coronavirus test on the second and fifth day after their arrival.

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