As one of the first European nations to reopen its borders to international visitors, The Netherlands has paved the way for a reinvigorated post-pandemic tourism industry.
On June 24, The Netherlands proved its resilience as the first European member state to ease yearlong COVID restrictions, allowing millions of tourists from around the world back into its enchanting cities and rural landmarks. The eager initiative marked the first step toward recovery and progress for the European Union after a costly battle to contain major COVID-19 outbreaks in all 27 of its united countries. As case numbers throughout The Netherlands are closely tracked and updated, travelers should stay informed on all of the information provided below before booking their post-pandemic vacations.
Though the Dutch government has stated that U.S. travelers are not required to present proof of vaccination for entry into the country, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still categorizes The Netherlands as a high-risk area for people who are not fully vaccinated. All travelers must provide a negative PCR test conducted 72 hours prior to departure in order to pass through customs and border patrols at any Dutch airport. A valid vaccination certificate such as CDC cards granted to fully immunized American citizens will also be accepted for travel within The Netherlands.
On July 1st, The Netherlands released a digital COVID passport for EU residents which allows eligible visitors to enter the country without facing quarantine restrictions. Tourists without access to COVID passports must provide documentation of a negative COVID test, proof of vaccination, or evidence of recovery for admittance into the popular Dutch destination. As the European Union continues to monitor COVID cases throughout The Netherlands to determine future health and safety protocols, international vacationers can check updated travel information here.
While cases are rising in most major cities across The Netherlands, more rural areas in the north are seeing steady numbers after a year of infectious outbreaks and strict health restrictions. Though most international tourists flock to areas like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, smaller towns in the Dutch countryside offer safer getaways as travelers enjoy history, culture, and equally idyllic scenery. Regions like Drenthe, North Holland, and Limburg are reporting the fewest case numbers per capita in less populated municipalities distanced by lush, green countrysides.
Travelers who want to steer clear of touristy cities and busier regions of The Netherlands should check out coastal retreats and small towns near the Belgium border where fewer crowds keep COVID numbers quite low. In the Dutch Wadden Islands, beachgoers can enjoy miles of towering sand dunes, quiet beaches, and a number of nature sanctuaries without throngs of global tourists. In the province of Limburg, off-the-beaten-path areas like the 10th century town of Thorn provide postcard landscapes with rich history and unbeatable attractions.
To revive its previously booming tourism industry after the deadly and financially detrimental COVID-19 pandemic, Holland initially lowered airfare and reservation fees to attract travelers at the start of 2021. As more tourists book their post-pandemic vacations to The Netherlands, costs are steadily increasing to meet a rising demand for tickets and accommodations. While uncertainty lingers around safe travel with inevitable advisories and last-minute restriction changes, many major airlines are still offering flexible cancellation policies and limited discounts.
For vacationers who want to avoid additional health and safety fees, travel companies contracted by the Dutch government are offering package deals that feature free PCR or rapid antigen tests as well as major deals on round-trip flights. However, most travel packages are centered in Holland’s major cities like Amsterdam, which are currently battling rising COVID cases and enforcing tighter restrictions.
As the infectious Delta variant poses a serious health risk to more populated regions across The Netherlands, the Dutch government recently announced plans to reimpose coronavirus restrictions that existed at the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Major outbreaks have occurred in nightlife settings and crowded parties where social distancing guidelines are not enforced. In response, many new regulations will focus on nightlife scenes in more populated cities like Amsterdam.
From July 10th to August 13th, discos and night clubs will remain closed while restaurants and bars must operate under limited capacities during shorter hours of operation. Mask ordinances are still in effect across the country, and many cultural sites are accepting advanced online ticket purchases on a first-come, first-serve basis to limit crowds. As dozens of provinces move into higher risk levels with rising cases, incoming tourists should check updated regional information here.
Known for its sleepy canals, peaceful countrysides, and vibrant cities, The Netherlands is an understandable favorite for international travelers seeking adventure and serenity. A year into its devastating COVID-19 outbreak, the Dutch destination is revamping its tourism industry and amending its regulations to safely and ethically welcome back sightseers from around the globe