Netherlands adds quarantine requirement for vaccinated US travelers


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Vaccinated travelers heading to the Netherlands will need to plan around a quarantine period after the country announced plans to tighten restrictions on the U.S.

The European Union member state is moving the U.S. into its “very high-risk” category on Saturday, which will prohibit entry among unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. and require testing and a quarantine period for those who are vaccinated. 

Starting Saturday, vaccinated U.S. travelers must quarantine 10 days but can cut the isolation period short if they test negative for coronavirus on day five. Children 12 and under are exempt, according to the Government of the Netherlands’ website.

Starting Monday, the country will also require U.S. travelers to show a negative test result to enter, starting Monday.  

The new restrictions do not apply to the Caribbean islands Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, according to the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The changes come on the heels of the European Union’s decision to move the U.S. off its safe travel list, which signaled to member states that they should no longer ease restrictions on nonessential travel for people from the U.S. as COVID-19 cases spike.

As of Friday, the seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was 153,246 with nearly 53% of the population fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously, U.S. travelers were able to show proof of recovery or vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

The Netherlands is the latest to announce new restrictions against U.S. travelers. EU member state Bulgaria announced it would move the U.S. into its “red zone” and prohibit travel from the U.S., and Italy added testing and self-isolation requirements for U.S. travelers earlier this week.

Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia are also set to move to the Netherlands’ “very high-risk” category.

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Last-minute shakeups for travelers

Cole Turner Franco of Austin, Texas, had wanted to make a quick stop in the Netherlands during his move to Oxford, England, next week but had to throw his plans out the window to avoid the new quarantine mandate.

He had intended to fly with his Pomeranian, Yuki, to Amsterdam and then ferry to the U.K. – which doesn’t allow pets in the cabin on international flights – and have his husband join them at a later date. As a fully vaccinated U.S. citizen, Turner Franco thought he would have an easy time getting into the Netherlands.

Then the new travel restrictions were announced. 

To avoid the quarantine period, Turner Franco added another leg to the journey in France immediately after landing in the Netherlands, which does allow travelers from “high-risk” areas to have a layover in the country so long as they do not leave the airport. From there, he’ll take a taxi across the Eurotunnel into the U.K. 

The additional stop is expected to cost an extra $1,200. 

Turner Franco said he understands the need for more restrictions but was surprised how quickly the country pivoted from very few COVID-19 restrictions for vaccinated U.S. citizens to a mandated quarantine. 

“It created a much longer, much more expensive, much, much more painful trip,” he said. “But I feel like it’s my job to just be as respectful of the restrictions as possible while kind of quietly fuming about how difficult it is to comply.”

► US travel to Italy: Italy tightens entry requirements on US tourists, adds self-isolation mandate for the unvaccinated

► Mixed reactions to EU safe travel list: Bulgaria prohibits travel, Portugal plans to remain open

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz





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