Starting today, the Netherlands has introduced stricter restrictions for travellers arriving from the United States.
Mandatory quarantine for US arrivals
The Dutch government yesterday announced that it would be making changes to its COVID-19 based entry restrictions. These will concern countries that it deems to be high-risk or very high-risk. The announcement comes after the European Union advised against non-essential travel to the US.
While the EU’s recommendations were non-binding, the Netherlands has been quick to act upon them. The United States is presently experiencing high number of daily COVID-19 cases and therefore, it is unsurprising given rising case numbers in the United States. The EU had lifted its ban on non-essential from the US back in June this year. The new rules dictate that:
Travellers from areas can only enter the Netherlands if they are fully vaccinated, or fall under one of the exemption categories for the EU entry ban. As of September 4th, 9:00 am, they will also be required to comply with the mandatory quarantine requirement.
The latest decision will come as a blow to vaccinated Americans hoping to visit the Netherlands. Even fully vaccinated travellers from the United States will have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands. However, they can exit quarantine on the fifth day with a negative coronavirus test, but even a five-day isolation period will likely be offputting for many.
As for testing, 6th September 2021 will also see further legislation introduced for the US and its fellow ‘very high-risk’ countries. These new rules will come into effect at 09:00 local time on the 6th September 2021. They dictate that fully vaccinated, quarantine-bound arrivals will also have to present a negative RT-PCR test. Specifically, the Dutch government explains:
Travelers from areas must also show a negative test result. Proof of recovery or vaccination will no longer be sufficient.
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Other countries also affected
The US is not the only country to have been the subject of the Dutch government’s latest rule changes. Within the EU, it has reclassified Germany and Hungary as high-risk areas, meaning that as of 6th September 2021, German and Hungarian arrivals will need to provide evidence of either vaccination or a negative test to enter the Netherlands.
Outside the European Union, the Netherlands has reclassified Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia as very high-risk areas alongside the United States. Inbound passengers from these countries will be subjected to the same restrictions as American travelers. Lebanon has also been designated as high-risk, with the same requirements as Germany and Hungary.
KLM cuts some US flights in response to the latest entry requirements
KLM, the flag carrier of the Netherlands, has cut some US flights this winter after the recent addition of mandatory quarantine for travellers coming from the United States.
The airline will not fly to Orlando International Airport, Miami International Airport and Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport this winter from its hub at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport. All three airports were previously scheduled to receive winter service between 31st October 2021 and 26th March 2022.
The airline specifically cited the new quarantine mandate imposed by the Dutch government as the reason it is cutting these flights. The airline states:
Health and fighting COVID-19 are paramount but the measures taken must be effective and proportionate. It looks like other EU member states, such as Italy, France and Belgium are not putting a triple lock on the door for travelers from the US.
The United States is one of KLM’s most important markets. The Amsterdam-based carrier flies to major destinations in the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. These flights are operated in conjunction with its major US partner, Delta Airlines.
KLM’s passengers will continue to be able to travel to Miami, Orlando, and Las Vegas. However, these passengers will now need to connect in a Delta hub like Atlanta or New York.
Orlando was supposed to be a new destination for the airline. The airline was scheduled to launch a triangular route with Orlando and Miami, meaning that the same aircraft would operate the Amsterdam-Miami-Orlando-Amsterdam route. was taking over a route previously flown by Delta Airlines with the Orlando-Amsterdam connection.
What do you think of the Netherlands decision to mandate quarantine for all travellers from the United States irrespective of the vaccination status? And, what do you think of KLM cutting some flights to the US? Let me know in the comments section below.