REMINDER: Negative PCR-RT Test Required To Arrive Or Transit Through Amsterdam Schiphol Effective December 29, 2020

1 Comment

The Netherlands has instituted a strict requirement for passengers arriving in the country, including citizens and permanent residents, and those transiting at KLM’s hub Schiphol that begins tomorrow.

KLM City Hopper

You need to provide a negative PCR-RT test administered no more than 72 hours before ARRIVAL to the Netherlands (not at the time of departure) for all arrivals starting on December 29, 2020.

You can access the Netherlands page for travel restrictions here and KLM’s here.

Here’s the information from the Netherlands government in English (access here):

Negative test declaration now mandatory for all international air travel to the Netherlands

News item | 23-12-2020 | 22:34

From 00.01 on 29 December 2020 all passengers, including Dutch nationals, must have a recent negative PCR test declaration in order to board an aircraft bound for the Netherlands. Everyone arriving in the Netherlands is strongly advised to self-quarantine for a period of 10 days. The negative test required for boarding is not a substitute for self-quarantining on arrival. The government made this decision today.

The rule requiring passengers to submit a negative test declaration before the start of their trip has already been in effect since 15 December for non-EU residents. As of today it applies to all passengers travelling to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom and South Africa. The government has decided to expand the requirement to all flights bound for the Netherlands.

Airlines that fly to the Netherlands from high-risk areas have been instructed by the Dutch authorities to check that all passengers are in possession of a negative PCR test result before boarding. The test must have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior to the passenger’s scheduled arrival in the Netherlands. Anyone who does not have a negative test declaration will be denied boarding. Airlines will provide passengers with information explaining the measures in place in the Netherlands.

The government is looking at options for expanding the stricter entry requirements to EU passengers travelling to the Netherlands by other means of collective transport, such as trains, coaches and passenger ships. Belgium has already imposed this rule on residents of the Netherlands travelling to Belgium. And France has introduced the same requirement for Eurostar passengers travelling from the UK to the Netherlands.

High-Risk Area:

The entire world is currently deemed high risk.

The Dutch version is more comprehensive (access here) – Google translate: (note the transit part):

Travelers from within the EU / Schengen must show negative COVID-19 test result

All travelers from a high-risk area within the EU / Schengen must show a negative COVID-19 test result from 29 December 00:00 when they travel to the Netherlands by air, ship, international intercity and international bus at more than 30 km from the border. This also applies to Dutch and other EU / Schengen citizens. Can a traveler not show a negative test result? Then the traveler is not allowed to board the plane and is not allowed to travel to the Netherlands. Travelers by international intercity or bus are checked either when boarding or during the journey, but always before the first stop in the Netherlands. If they cannot provide a recent negative test statement, they will be asked to leave the means of transport at the first stop after the border crossing.

Mandatory data on test result

The negative test result must be in English, German, French, Spanish or Dutch. The document is checked on 5 points:

  • Type of test: This must be a molecular PCR test and a test for Sars-Cov-2 / COVID-19. Any other type of test, including a quick test, is not valid;
  • Test result: must be negative (or not detected);
  • First and last name: in accordance with the passport;
  • Date and time of taking the test: The test is a maximum of 72 hours old upon arrival in the Netherlands;
  • Details of institute or laboratory that administered the test.

Travelers from within the EU / Schengen only need to be able to show the test result. And not the self-signed test statement that travelers from outside the EU / Schengen must be able to show upon arrival in the Netherlands.

Importance of negative test result

Travelers from high-risk areas pose a risk of the spread and import of the corona virus. To limit this risk, they must have a negative test result.

72 hours: time of the test or the time of the test result?

The time between the moment of taking the test and the arrival in the Netherlands may not exceed 72 hours. The test result must be known before someone leaves for the Netherlands.

Travelers who require a negative COVID-19 test result

Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test result from December 29 at 00:01 AM if they:

  • come from a country that is not on the list of safe countries;
  • traveling from a country within the EU / Schengen (with the exception of Iceland) to the Netherlands by plane, ship, international intercity and international bus more than 30 km from the border;
  • Be 13 years of age or older;
  • do not fall under an exception category listed below.

The negative test statement is for travelers from high-risk areas. Travelers from safe countries  are therefore not required to show a negative test statement.

Travel by ship

The requirement for a negative PCR test will also apply to international transport of passengers traveling by ship from high-risk areas to the Netherlands. In addition to ferry services from the UK, this also applies to travel by ship when this could be possible in the future.

Negative test result on transit through the airport

Travelers arriving at the airport in the Netherlands and traveling directly by plane also need a negative test result.

Exceptions obligation negative test result

The following people do not need a negative test result:

  • Persons under the age of 13
  • Travelers from Iceland
  • Travelers from safe countries
  • Frontier workers, frontier students and frontier students;
  • Holders of a diplomatic identity card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Holders of non-Dutch diplomatic passports;
  • Holders of Dutch diplomatic passports when traveling in the performance of their duties or when traveling to or from their work.
  • Heads of State and Members of a Foreign Government:
  • Persons working in the transport of goods and other transport personnel as necessary, such as truck drivers. This also includes persons working on container ships, bulk carriers (for example ore or coal), tankers (fuels and chemicals), fishing. And also persons working in the energy sector, ie oil and gas platforms and wind farms, offshore companies that provide services to this sector, and air, cruise and ferry crew when they travel in the performance of their duties;
  • Seafarers in possession of a seaman’s book when they travel in the performance of their duties or when they travel to or from their duties. The exceptions do not apply to seafarers on commercial yachts and pleasure craft;
  • Passengers on a flight who do not have the Netherlands as their final destination, but have to divert to a Dutch airport due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Passengers with a NATO Travel Order or a NATO-2 visa.


Many passengers who fly on KLM tomorrow will be surprised by this new requirement because the airline has not sent out any information warning about the negative PCR-RT test.

KLM’s planes will be emptier come December 29, 2020, when EU/EEA passengers will choose another airline for their intra-bloc trips through countries that won’t require you to provide a negative PCR-RT test merely for transiting.

It will be very challenging and EXPENSIVE in many markets to get a fast PCR-RT result that won’t be more than 72 hours of the test itself at the time of your arrival or transit at Schiphol.

I cannot think of any other airline within the EU/EEA that would require you to have a negative test for merely transiting through their airport when continuing to another country within the bloc.