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Entering Netherlands by rail from Belgium - requirements

Hello,

I am a vaccinated/boosted citizen of the United States. I will be entering the Netherlands by Thalys rail/train from Belgium after initially flying into Netherlands and clearing with a negative COVID test. I would spend about four days in Belgium before returning to the Netherlands. From reading the government NL site, it would appear that, upon my second entry to the Netherlands (from Belgium), because I am vaccinated and entering the Netherlands from an EU country, I would not need to show a negative COVID test and instead just show proof of vaccination. I believe I would be able to use my CDC card as proof for vaccination.

Is my understanding correct? Or would I still need a negative COVID test to enter the Netherlands by train from Belgium?

Thank you!

Posted by
5997 posts

I think you will be fine. The problem comes down to that while the requirements may say something, the mechanism to check and verify is not in place. My rationale would be that you already entered the Netherlands on a negative test, had you stayed in the Netherlands, you would not, at this time, require another test. Slipping over to Belgium, which is not a country of very high concern for the Netherlands, does not really alter that. If however you feel you might have been exposed, by all means get tested, you could even take some rapid tests with you.

Add to that, your negative test to enter the Netherlands initially is only checked by your airline, it will not be checked when you land by immigration. Coming by train, there are no check points to determine if you have a test. If a new variant pops up and things go back to emergency mode, then maybe, but then there will be many more measures to deal with.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you for your insight, Paul. I was thinking that Thalys would be motivated to do a check (the same way airlines do prior to boarding a flight to the Netherlands). I wonder if anyone has experience at the train station and knows what the circumstances are in practice.

Posted by
252 posts

The information on the website of the Dutch government https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/visiting-the-netherlands-from-abroad/checklist-entry says this;

Requirements when travelling from these countries/areas
- You will need to show proof of vaccination, a Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) based on proof of recovery or a negative test result.
- If you are travelling by air, complete a health declaration form.
- Do a self-test after arriving in the Netherlands. Even if you tested negative before travelling.

It’s unlikely that Thalys will carry out checks and ask you to show your proof of vaccination, but if they do your CDC card is sufficient.

Posted by
52 posts

I traveled by train between Brussels and Amsterdam a couple times last year when the rules were more strictly enforced. I don't remember having to do anything other than buy the tickets.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you both. I read the requirements the same way, but was unsure about whether the CDC card would be allowed as proof of vaccination because I know some countries (especially the Netherlands) have been clear that only the EU digital certificate is allowable when they were enforcing a vaccination pass. I am hopeful my CDC card is sufficient and did not want to get turned away from boarding. I may try to turn up to the station well in advance of departure to give myself an opportunity for a last minute test, if needed.

Posted by
252 posts

“ I may try to turn up to the station well in advance of departure to give myself an opportunity for a last minute test, if needed.”
I see absolutely no reason why you should do that. Thalys will not ask for a test or for proof of vaccination. In the very odd chance that Dutch border police carry out checks in the train, they will be looking for illegal immigrants and may ask to see your passport. Should someone do decide to ask you for proof of vaccination, just show them your CDC card. It will be accepted. Please for your own sake, don’t mix up the documents needed to enter the Netherlands with the now no longer applicable QRcode system that was needed to enter cafes, restaurants and museums.

Posted by
7 posts

Noted - thank you. I am trying to follow all of the rules, but the patchwork system has been difficult to discern. The Thalys train is paid for and only for a certain departure - so, if I miss it, I cannot just jump on the next one. I suppose that is why it feels like higher stakes to me, but I appreciate you calming those concerns.

Posted by
252 posts

I get that it’s difficult to keep up with all the requirements, but please believe me when I say your CDC card is accepted as proof of vaccination to enter the Netherlands. It’s accepted as proof regardless of whether you cross the border by plane, train, car, bike or on foot. The only difference is that it’s highly unlikely that you will be asked for proof of vaccination, unless you travel by plane.
I’m sure that once you’re here and made the trip, you will see your worries have been for nothing.

Posted by
1 posts

I am doing essentially the same after I fly into Brussels on the 27th of this month. My flight/airline info is stating I do not need a test prior to flying into Belgium with my full/boosted vaccination status. I do have the Netherlands Travel locator form in hand as well as the SafeTest.be Belgium QR code for museum visits etc.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks again, Dutch_traveler. I am planning to bring with a laminated photocopy of the CDC card, so hopefully that will suffice. Unless, of course, they need to have the un-laminated original. I wanted to leave the original at home to avoid the risk of damage/loss.

Posted by
8852 posts

We leave Sunday. I’ll be taking a laminated copy of my CDC card and the original in a plastic sleeve. It won’t hurt to have both.

Posted by
5997 posts

In November I crossed from Netherlands to Belgium, Belgium to Germany, Germany to Belgium, and Belgium to Netherlands. Several of those were on Thalys. The only thing approaching a check was entering Germany, the conductor reminded that we needed to fill out essentially a locator form, and gave us the link.

From Antwerp to Amsterdam Schiphol, my ticket was not even checked.

In regards to the CDC card, bring the original, do not laminate it.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks all for the advice to bring with the original CDC card. Was hoping to keep it home to avoid risk of loss but will bring it along. Cheers!

Posted by
1 posts

I just took the train from Belgium. I tested and nobody asked for results. 35 euro for nothing, but hey, I don't have covid.