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COVID travel update

COVID travel update

The discovery of the second variant of the COVID-19 virus prompted several countries to close their borders and to reimpose travel bans against South Africa.

The Netherlands was quick to respond to detection of the mutated strain of the COVID-19 virus in December 2020. The Dutch government promptly closed the country’s borders on 21 December and imposed a travel ban on international flights.

Several countries followed suit, implementing travel bans on South Africans and British nationals, and anybody who had been in either of the two countries. Several airlines also suspended their flights to South Africa as a result of the discovery of the new, more infectious strain.

The Dutch government announced that it would not enforce the travel ban and would reopen its borders to international visitors. The government decided to revise entry requirements for all nationalities and visitors to the Netherlands.

The country’s borders reopened on 23 December and international visitors – including South Africans – are permitted to enter the country provided they comply with the revised requirements.

All international visitors travelling to the Netherlands must comply with the following:

  • A negative PCR COVID-19 test result certificate must be produced on arrival;
  • The certificate must have been obtained within 72 hours of the flight departure;
  • All travellers will be expected to self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands;
  • The cost of the mandatory quarantine is for the traveller’s own account.


The national carrier of the Netherlands has not stopped flights between the two countries. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flies daily between Johannesburg and Amsterdam, and six times a week between Cape Town and Amsterdam.

“KLM welcomes this decision and confirms that this updated regulation enables KLM to operate all passenger flights from South Africa to Amsterdam from 23 December 2020 and onwards as initially planned,” the airline said.

KLM requires all passengers to be in possession of negative PCR test results in order to be allowed onto their flights.

“Anyone who does not have a negative test declaration will be denied boarding,” KLM reminded passengers.




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