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United States No Longer on "Safe" List:- Vaccinated Travelers Must Quarantine on Arrival

Sadly, just received an E-mail from Delta Airlines that the U.S. is now considered a "Very High Risk Area Without a Variant of Concern."
This means even vaccinated folks like me will need to quarantine for at least 5 days (need negative testing on Day 5) after arrival in Amsterdam. I will not yet cancel, just wait a few days until I hear more detail on all of the EU countries.

Posted by
2061 posts

Interesting as their website says something totally different. Currently, there is no quarantine for Americans arriving in the NL - vaccinated or unvaccinated. Here is the current Delta website info for entering at AMS from the USA: https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-planning-center/find-your-destination/explore-top-destinations? .... which says, in part:

Key requirements for travelers from the U.S. to the Netherlands as their final destination -
Fully Vaccinated Travelers
Vaccination Documentation:
- Must have documentation stating proof of full vaccination
- Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are accepted
- Must be fully vaccinated: For Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines – second dose at least 14 days before arrival; for Johnson & Johnson vaccine – a dose received at least 28 days before arrival, if vaccinated after Aug. 14, 2021. If vaccinated on/before Aug. 14, 2021, the dose must be received at least 14 days before arrival.
COVID-19:
- Test Not required
Forms
- Must complete a health declaration in order to board your flight. Must have a printed copy to present at boarding.
- Required for all travelers ages 13 and above
Quarantine:
- Not required

The NL Government website also does not state any quarantine requirements: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/visiting-the-netherlands-from-abroad/checklist-entry/from-outside-the-eu

Posted by
28 posts

Yes, it is confusing because neither Delta nor the Netherlands has updated their websites. However, if I look at the Netherlands own rules (https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/visiting-the-netherlands-from-abroad), if the United States is now truly moved to the status of "very high risk area without a variant of concern," then indeed a quarantine is mandated for the vaccinated and unvaccinated. As of now, the U.S. is still on the "safe" list, which we know is not updated.

Here is the e-mail I received this evening:
"We look forward to seeing you on your upcoming flight to Amsterdam. As you plan for upcoming travel, we’re committed to providing the information you need to be prepared, safe and secure upon arrival.
The Netherlands has classified the U.S. as a “very high-risk area without a virus variant of concern”. If you are not vaccinated, we recommend that you verify that your reason for travel will continue to allow you to travel to The Netherlands. Fully vaccinated travelers will continue to be allowed to enter; unvaccinated travelers will only be allowed to enter for essential travel.
Effective September 4 (including departures from the US on September 3), all passengers must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival into Amsterdam, with a possibility to shorten the quarantine period by providing a negative COVID-19 test result after 5 days. All passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must also complete a Health Declaration Form AND a quarantine form before arrival.
Effective September 6 (including for departures from the US on September 5), all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 NAAT (PCR) test result taken at most 48 hours or negative antigen test result taken at most 24 hours before departure to Amsterdam. Children under 12 years of age are exempt.
More details about COVID-19 testing can be found on Delta's Testing Resources page as well as specific travele requirements on Delta's Conronavirus & Travel Requirements Page
If you still plan to travel, know that we’ve raised the standard for safer travel by putting measures in place across every step of the journey to help keep you healthy and give you more peace of mind.
If you no longer wish to travel to Amsterdam, please let us know by modifying or canceling your trip via My Trips on delta.com prior to your scheduled flight. If you booked through Delta Vacations® or a travel agency, please contact them directly.
If you choose to cancel, rest assured the value of your ticket won't be lost. Your original ticket number becomes an eCredit and may be used for future travel with Delta. Miles redeemed toward SkyMiles award travel may be redeposited.
Taking care of our customers is at the center of everything we do. To help you make informed decisions regarding your travel, the latest information on COVID-19 can be found in the Travel Planning Center.
Thank you for choosing Delta."

Posted by
2061 posts

The US is currently on The Netherlands HIGH-RISK list.. and not the VERY HIGH-RISK AREA. Those very high risk countries, from the NL website, include:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Currently, HIGH-RISK countries, like the USA, do not have a quarantine. Living here, we've seen NOTHING in the local news moving the USA to a very high-risk status (I guess that could change instantly in today's world). We've seen "online reports" that Sweden, Bulgaria, and parts of Croatia were to be added to the very high-risk list... but as of yet, see no government confirmation of that either.

The Dutch government was actually talking about ending Covid restrictions later this month as they are reporting more than 83% of the residents have already had at least one shot (And are also saying that 73% of persons over 12 are fully vaccinated).

Posted by
28 posts

As I stated, I have been sent an E-mail by Delta Airlines stating that the Netherlands has placed the United States in a ' VERY HIGH RISK for travel without a variant of concern" category and the Netherlands website (https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/visiting-the-netherlands-from-abroad/checklist-entry/from-outside-the-eu) still has the U.S. on the safe list. I do not want to cancel my flight, so I will wait a few days until I have further verification. I hope there will be good news about no need to quarantine!

Posted by
28 posts

I just checked the Netherlands website concerning travel - sad to say that indeed the United States has been moved to the "very high risk without a variant of concern" meaning vaccinated travelers will need to quarantine. I will be looking for other EU countries that may not have a quarantine. Very disappointed but I certainly do understand.

Posted by
2061 posts

bdriscollent, you're correct. This is a very "under-the-radar"-story here in the NL...
The notification of the status change for the US was posted to the Dutch government website this AM. Ir reads, in part:


Changes regarding countries outside the EU
Outside the EU, the US, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia will be designated very high-risk areas as of 4 September. Travelers from these areas can only enter the Netherlands if they are fully vaccinated or fall under one of the exemption categories for the EU entry ban. As of 4 September, they will also be required to comply with the mandatory quarantine requirement.

As of 6 September, travelers from these areas must also show a negative test result. Proof of recovery or vaccination will no longer be sufficient. Lebanon will be designated a high-risk area and fall under the EU entry ban as of 4 September, with fully vaccinated travelers exempt from the entry ban. The current COVID certificate requirement will remain unchanged.


For those of us that live here, this is disappointing. Frankly, I am not sure how they will enforce the quarantine. In 10+ flight arrivals at AMS in these COVID times, I have NOT ONCE been asked to show my Covid paperwork, my Digital EU Certificate, had my temperature taken, or any other COVID-related inspection. If they can't - or don't - verify you at the airport, how are they going to enforce a quarantine? Another flip-flop from the sitting Dutch government, SMH.

Posted by
2061 posts

For those of you connecting at AMS, currently, you are granted an exception - as long as you do not leave the AIrport AIRSIDE area.

Exemptions from the mandatory quarantine requirement
People with a layover in the Netherlands on their journey from a very high-risk area to another country. Plane, train, bus, or coach passengers must not leave the airport, train station, or bus/coach station during the layover. Those traveling by car must stay in the vehicle except for short necessary stops, for example for fuel.

Posted by
6840 posts

Frankly, I am not sure how they will enforce the quarantine.

They will not have to once people like me and the OP hear this news they will cancel their plans for travel to the Netherlands

Posted by
29 posts

Traveling from France to Amsterdam, staying 4 days, and then leaving for SFO. All of this is to happen at the end of October. I am totally confused as to what to expect when arriving in Amsterdam as far as quarantine. I would imagine the next few days will hopefully clear things up. Any thoughts from others? I am almost to the point of giving up on this trip. Way too many uncertainties.

Posted by
317 posts

Everything's going downhill so quickly. It looked so hopeful just 4 months ago and now so bleak again. I'm already starting to think about canceling my Netherlands/Belgium April tour reservations. We always add some days before the start of any tour but my partner will simply not do a quarantine before a tour and frankly it's almost a deal breaker for me too.

Posted by
6714 posts

Frankly, I am not sure how they will enforce the quarantine.

Cell phone GPS data or apps that track movements. It's not as hard as it seems.

Posted by
242 posts

CNN is reporting this, too (sorry can’t get paste of link to work). Sweden is now banning U. S. Travelers altogether (unless a Swedish national).

Posted by
8235 posts

"I'm already starting to think about canceling my Netherlands/Belgium April tour reservations."

To me it's too early to even contemplate that action. Things may change half a dozen times between now and then. I think you are referring to a Rick Steves tour and he is giving everyone free cancellation until Dec 31 which is 4 months away to see how things work out. If things are still off/on, then consider what you will do but to me it's too early to decide this.

Posted by
3 posts

According to this page, it seems clear that US citizens are required to quarantine after arrival in NL. But there are various exemptions listed on this other page, including travelers who are transiting through airports, etc. Note, in particular, the third item in the list of exemption categories ("10 days in an area not designated as very high risk"). When you click on that item, and read the expanded text, it seems to suggest that a quarantine is NOT required if you spent the previous 10 days or more, traveling through countries that are not in the "very high risk" category.

I am planning to fly into Amsterdam (Schiphol) on September 20, connecting with a flight to Florence, Italy. I will be in Italy for 7 days, and then 10 days in France. After that, I have train tickets to Amsterdam to visit relatives in NL for 4 days. I am vaccinated, willing to take COVID tests, and to fill out all the required forms. Currently, Italy and France are not on NL's list of "very high risk" countries. So will I be able to visit my relatives without going into quarantine? It appears so, but the rules are changing day by day.

Posted by
7 posts

Yep. This new travel restriction essentially torpedoed my entire trip at the last hour. Literally if I had flown out 24 hours earlier I would be trapped in the Netherlands right now. I'm angry and completely devastated, not at Europeans but at Americans who won't get their act together and vaccinate/mask up and then, consequently, cause problems for everyone else. We did not have to have the Delta variant get out of control like this, especially the surging hospital rates. I'd better not get started on this.

Posted by
11 posts

Are there any EU or UK countries considered VERY HIGH RISK? We are flying into London from the US, staying 10 days, then we transfer to Paris and stay another 5 days. After that we will stay in Belgium for 3 days before we travel to NL and stay there 5 days. Do we need to quarantine in NL? I am a little confused.

Posted by
25724 posts

mdp3214

Belgium has large areas of France, including Paris and the entire Île de France, on their RED list... non EU residents arriving in Belgium from France have somewhat onerous requirements.

Posted by
29 posts

I am becoming more confused than usual ;) I will be traveling from France whereas we will have been for 3 weeks. France is RED now, but part of the EU. I read that you don't have to quarantine if the following is the case... "This applies to people who, immediately prior to their arrival in the Netherlands, have stayed in an area not designated as very high risk for at least 10 consecutive days."

So is France very high risk or not?
Please comment if you have information that could clear this us.
Thanks, B

Posted by
11 posts

Barbara,
France is High Risk. US and UK are considered Very High Risk. If you stay in France 3 weeks before Netherlands then you won't need to quarantine. I hope this helps you.

Posted by
3888 posts

@kurthunter. I'm so sorry, and I agree with you. The reason the U.S. and U.K. are VERY high risk is completely clear when the data is examined. Both countries have far more cases per million population than the European countries. It's not like we are being treated unfairly. It's pretty clear, that COVID is out of control in the U.S.

Posted by
6 posts

So incredibly confusing.
Apparently KLM cancelled a bunch of direct flights from the US to NL because of this.

If you want to go to the Netherlands you need to first go to a country not on the very high risk list, then transit to NL. Once you clear customs in the (non NL) EU (like Iceland, France, Belgium) you can go to the Netherlands.

What a mess.

Posted by
6 posts

Kurt Hunter, just read your comment. Are you in quarantine now? What happened?

Posted by
3888 posts

Ivana, the way I read it is that you must stay in the "non" NL country (that is not very high risk) for 10 days if you want to avoid NL quarantine

Posted by
8 posts

jules m - that is right, but the entry controls when entering the Netherlands from within a Schengen country are different from entering from the US. It’s like talking an intra-state flight vs taking an international flight.

However I’ve taken flights within the Schengen area this year and there have been times when they have still performed passport / resident card checks. So you never know but the rules are more relaxed when traveling within the EU than when first entering the EU.

Posted by
3888 posts

John, yes. But, I was referring to the fact that you can't just get into the Netherlands without the COVID quarantine by stopping at another city, on a layover, or short stay. It needs to be 10 days.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi - thanks for all the info everyone and the NL-folks on the street with close access reporting!
... so its still a bit cryptic.
I will be traveling home FROM Barcelona through AMS to LAX in mid Oct... Just looking to confirm that flights/travelers transferring through AMS airport should be fine headed to USA (with the US-required 3-day test in hand which I will get in Barcelona if needed)?
thanks!!

Posted by
12 posts

We are traveling from the US to Amsterdam, followed by Germany, Switzerland, & Austria for a total of a month. Does that mean that as you move between countries you could have to quarantine again and again? I am fully vaccinated and willing to test anytime.

Posted by
1 posts

Kristin, you need to check the requirements for each country. Also, as things are changing, it would be a good idea to check them frequently. I am in the same boat with plans to travel to Europe this fall and arriving in the Netherlands. It is a tricky situation because the plan was to stay with a friend in the Netherlands for two days, and then depart by car for Italy. Obviously, this won't work with the quarantine requirement. I contacted the Dutch government through their website to see if I could self-quarantine for 48 hours and then leave the country without getting into any hot water. They have not responded yet. If not, I will have to go immediately to another country and have my friend pick me up there.

The other issue is that some countries are requiring covid tests before entering, others are not. So, when the test are required, a place to get the test will need to be found (and test paid for, which can get expensive) and the time frame for testing and getting results will need to be taken into account.

I ended up making a spreadsheet to keep track of the requirements for each country. It is helping a lot to see everything together in one place. Plus, I am saving websites for each country that gives the specific info on covid requirements.

The last thing is that some countries are also requiring that different forms be filled out. Be sure to check on those as well.