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January 19, 2023

Netherlands Makes COVID-19 Tests Obligatory for Arrivals From China From

The Netherlands is the next European Union Member Country to require travellers from China to test for COVID-19 within 48 hours before their arrival in the Netherlands, starting from Tuesday, January 10.

The decision has been taken by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, following a recommendation of the EU on January 4 to the Member States, to impose such a measure, as a response to the situation in China.

While several countries had already introduced such measures before January 4, the Netherlands will be imposing the requirement of a negative COVID test as of Tuesday while also advising travellers to wear masks on flights to and from China, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Commenting on the new measures, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Ernst Kuipers, said that it is important for such measures to be taken in order to prevent the spread of the virus, adding that the Netherlands has decided to align the requirements as much as possible with the EU recommendation of January 4.

It is important that we take travel measures in the context of the fight against COVID-19 at a European level. Together with colleagues, I have decided to follow the European line from the consultations of the Council of the EU’s Crisis Response (IPCR),” the Minister said announcing the new restrictions.

Airlines flying from China to the Netherlands will be obliged to inform travellers that there is a test obligation in order to enter the Dutch territory, and the consequences that travellers may face if they arrive in the Netherlands without negative test results.

The country is undertaking other measures as well, in order to keep the Coronavirus situation under control. COVID-19 self-tests will be handed out at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, while travellers will also be informed on the importance of measures that they can take to prevent being infected.

At the same time, the Dutch authorities are applying a recommendation of the EU Commission to test wastewater at airports and from aeroplane toilets from China, in order to detect new variants of the virus.

A large share of the EU countries have already imposed COVID-19 restrictions on arrivals from China, with Italy topping the list by imposing the restrictions on December 26 last year. Spain, Germany, France, and Sweden have all followed.

The reason for such measures is that after China reopened its borders on December 7, there was a surge in the number of Coronavirus cases. The Dutch government claims that since the country kept borders closed for three years, little immunity has been built up there, and as such, special attention should be paid for passengers arriving from this country.

There are currently no signals that there is a new variant in China. Omicron is also dominant in China, just like in the Netherlands,” the Ministry highlights.

Yet, it still notes that in the Netherlands, the consequences of infection are less serious since, due to the high number of fully vaccinated persons, immunity is much greater amongst Dutch nationals and residents.

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