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Anyone traveling to the Netherlands from the European Union or the Schengen Area will soon be allowed to enter the Netherlands without presenting a negative coronavirus test, proof of recovery from Covid-19, or evidence of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The change takes effect on March 23, and was announced by Health Minister Ernst Kuipers at a press conference on Tuesday.

Additionally, the Cabinet is eliminating the same entry rules for European Union citizens who will travel to the Netherlands from outside the EU or Schengen Area, according to a government statement. A separate notice published by the Cabinet indicated the rules changes will also extend to people living in the Netherlands with residency permits.

The more stringent rules will still apply for non-EU travelers arriving from outside the EU and Schengen Area. They may continue to be subject to the European Union entry ban, unless they qualify for an exemption. These exceptions include people arriving from a country designated as safe, those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and in some cases those who can present a recovery certificate. Rules regarding proof of a negative test result may also be required, depending on the origin of travel.

Those traveling to the Netherlands are still advised to self-test upon arrival, and again on the fifth day they are in the country. Passengers will also still be required to wear face masks on airplanes as the rule is subject to international regulations.

Kuipers emphasized that EU countries will continue to make their own decisions about entry requirements depending on the coronavirus situation in their specific contexts. He advised Netherlands residents to keep the CoronaCheck app on their mobile devices so they can present a EU Digital Coronavirus Certificate (DCC) when traveling around the EU, as it may still be required for entry into different countries, and venues within those countries.

The DCC, which shows if someone has been vaccinated, has had a recent negative test result, or is recently recovered from the coronavirus infection, is expected to be in use at least until July 2023.

The goal of the DCC is to streamline travel between EU countries during the coronavirus pandemic. By adopting the DCC, the EU and Schengen Area members avoided a situation where different forms of entry proof are required depending on the country.

Reported by NL Times

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