New quarantine rules for US travellers come into effect
As was announced earlier this week, new restrictions come into effect for travellers from the United States on December 30. Since the country is now classified as a very high-risk area, all travellers from the US must now quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.
Stricter restrictions for American travellers
On December 22, the Dutch government introduced tougher rules for travellers from outside of the EU and Schengen areas, requiring all travellers to present a recent negative COVID-19 test, and introducing a quarantine mandate for travellers from very high-risk areas.
These rules mean vaccinated and recovered travellers from the US have already faced slightly stricter travel rules over the Christmas holidays, but as the Omicron variant continues to spread, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs followed the latest advice from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and announced that the US has been reclassified as a very high-risk area.
As a result of this, as of 12.01am on December 30, all American travellers are required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands. This also applies to travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered from the virus. The quarantine period can be shortened to five days if the traveller tests negative at the GGD.
COVID-19 cases rising in US, falling in the Netherlands
The US has seen its infection rate rise significantly since the start of November, with the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting over 430.00 new COVID-19 cases on December 28. Meanwhile, the infection rate in the Netherlands continues to fall - on Wednesday, 15.804 positive tests were reported on the coronadashboard.
With the reclassification of the US as a very high-risk area, the Dutch quarantine mandate is now in place for travellers from 25 countries, including the United Kingdom and South Africa. There are a handful of exemptions to the mandatory quarantine.
For example, children aged 12 and under are not required to isolate, neither are people who come to the Netherlands to attend a funeral or for a necessary visit to family (but this exemption does not apply to travellers from very high-risk areas with a variant of concern).