Americans can now travel restriction-free to the Netherlands. That means they are not required to quarantine when they arrive in the Netherlands and they don’t need to provide a test or prove they are fully vaccinated.
The US is among the countries considered to be “safe”, where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low, according to the Netherlands. Travelers from so-called safe countries are permitted to enter the Netherlands without quarantine or proof of vaccination. Australia, Serbia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Rwanda are among the other destinations deemed safe by the Netherlands, as well as most European countries.
As the Netherlands opens up, tourists from high-risk countries still face restrictions. They’re required to present a negative COVID test result and quarantine for 10 days, even if they have been fully vaccinated. The UK is currently considered high-risk due to the spread of the Delta variant there. Additional measures may apply so always check the latest measures before planning any travel.
Tourists are returning to the Netherlands as COVID restrictions ease ©Hung Chung Chih/Shutterstock
Tourists who do visit the Netherlands this year will be able to enjoy most of the country’s best attractions, as museums including the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum reopen to visitors. Restaurants, cafes and bars are also open with social distancing guidelines in place. Concert halls, cinemas and sporting venues opened this week, and curfews imposed to limit alcohol purchases have now been scrapped. Face masks are no longer required in shops and in other busy public spaces but are still required on public transport and in airports.
If you’re planning a trip to the Dutch capital, you can expect some changes. Before Amsterdam faced coronavirus, it struggled with another plight: overtourism. The city, with a population of about 820,000, received a record 20 million international visitors in 2019 (about 55,000 per day) and was beginning to buckle under the weight of its popularity. Complaints started to rise from residents who were feeling locked out of their city by hordes of tourists, rubbish-strewn streets and tourist-centric shops, not to mention the increase of short-term vacation rentals in the city that were cited as a cause in rising house prices and rent.
The pandemic gave it a reset and now Amsterdam is trying new tactics to balance its status as a top European destination for tourists and a liveable city for locals. Officials imposed new restrictions on short-term vacation rentals in the city center, in addition to banning tours in the red light district. From next year, it will ban non-residents from buying cannabis in the city’s coffee shops.
That’s not all. In June, the city council launched an online campaign encouraging tourists to embrace the city’s cultural heritage, but warned those who do not treat the city with respect to stay away.
“We do not want to go back to what we saw before the pandemic, where massive crowds in the Red Light District and the city’s entertainment areas caused a nuisance to residents,” said the city council in a statement posted online. “Visitors who respect Amsterdam and the people of Amsterdam have always been welcome and will, of course, remain so. Visitors who treat our residents and heritage with disrespect are not welcome. The message we have for them is: ‘don’t come to Amsterdam’.”
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