Important COVID-19 Travel
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- the whole of the Netherlands based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. Check separate travel advice pages for advice on travel to the constituent countries and special municipalities located in the Dutch Caribbean.
Travel is subject to entry restrictions
The Dutch Government has announced that from 1 January 2021, non-EU/EEA nationals and nationals of non-Schengen states, including UK nationals, will not be permitted entry to the Netherlands for non-essential purposes due to EU-wide COVID-19 restrictions. Visit the Dutch Government’s website for a list of exemptions. This measure does not apply to UK nationals who are legally resident in the Netherlands, who will be allowed to re-enter the country, but will need to show proof of residence.
In addition, as of 23 January 2021 a temporary travel ban is in effect for all passenger flights and passenger ferries from the United Kingdom. This means that no passengers will be allowed to travel to the Netherlands by aeroplane or ferry, apart from in exceptional circumstances such as travel for medical reasons, healthcare workers, seafarers and aviation workers. Visit the Dutch Government’s website for more information. The ban is due to remain in place until at least 4 March 2021.
- The Dutch Government requires all international travellers aged 13 and above travelling by aeroplane, passenger ferry, train and coach to be in possession of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result and a completed test declaration. There are some limited exemptions to this requirement, listed on the Dutch Government’s website.
- In addition to the PCR test requirement, the Dutch Government also requires travellers arriving from the UK by aeroplane and ferry to provide proof of a negative rapid (antigen/LAMP) test, taken no more than 4 hours before boarding. The rapid (antigen/LAMP) test requirement applies to some categories currently exempt from PCR tests.
- The test requirements do not replace the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival (see below).
- See the Dutch Government’s website for further information.
- If you’re travelling to or from the Netherlands by air you must complete a health screening form and have it ready to show on request during your journey, whether you are at the departure airport, on the aircraft or at the arrival airport
- If you’re travelling to the Netherlands from the UK, you should also self-isolate for ten days upon arrival in the Netherlands. If you’re staying in the Netherlands for fewer than ten days then you should quarantine for the duration of your stay.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
- check if you need to self-isolate on your return
If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to the Netherlands, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.
There are rules about taking food and drink into the EU. See Taking food and drink into the Netherlands for further information.
If you’re living in or moving to the Netherlands, visit our Living in the Netherlands guide in addition to this travel advice.
British nationals make more than 2 million visits to the Netherlands every year, half of whom are visiting Amsterdam. Most visits are trouble-free.
The Amsterdam health authorities have launched a campaign to warn tourists about the danger of buying a substance which is sold as cocaine, but is actually white heroin. This has caused a number of deaths. For more information visit the website of the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD). See Local laws and customs
Everyone over the age of 14 is required to show a valid identity document on request. See Local laws and customs
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the Netherlands. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. See Terrorism
Be alert to the existence of street crime in cities. See Crime
Travelling via Calais? Check travel advice for France.
If you need to contact the emergency services call 112.
If you’re travelling to the Netherlands to do business or provide services, see further guidance on providing services in the Netherlands after Brexit.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.