Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Netherlands to Offer Free-of-Charge COVID-19 Tests for Travellers During July & August

The Dutch Government has announced that 3.5 million COVID-19 tests have been set aside to be made available for everyone planning to travel to the country during July and August.

Such an announcement was made through a press conference, during which Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that free Coronavirus tests will be made available for all persons who are not fully vaccinated but still wish to travel during summer.

Holidaymakers will be able to make use of the free test by asking for test compensation via a travel company or booking a test by a company contracted by the Government, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Both PCR and rapid antigen tests will be available for holidaymakers entering the Netherlands. The authorities revealed that the PCR test results will be available within 24 hours, whereas the rapid antigen test results will be available within three hours. The test result can then be presented to the responsive authorities in digital or paper format.

The Government anticipates that a maximum of 3.5 million tests will be needed in July and August. Following such statistics, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure Cora van Nieuwenhuizen revealed that the scheme is expected to cost around €250 million.

By introducing the free Coronavirus tests scheme, the cabinet is responding to the call made by the European Commission and the House of Representatives to make tests available to the public free of charge.

Additionally, the authorities announced that from June 26, the country will relax most of the COVID-19 measures, and the face mask rule will be lifted. The advice to work from home will also be lifted.

In order to make it easier to check the vaccination and testing status of the travellers, the Dutch authorities implemented the EU Digital COVID Passport in the CoronaCheck App, which includes all the necessary information on the holder.

The EU Digital COVID Passport was established by the European Union in a bid to restore safe travel within the block.

Several countries have already implemented the COVID Passport weeks ahead of the deadline.

“When travelling, every Digital Green Certificate holder will have the same rights as citizens of the visited Member State who have been vaccinated, tested or recovered,” the EU Commission’s statement reads.

By presenting the COVID Passport, the holders will be able to prove whether they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19, have recently obtained a negative test result, or have recovered from the virus.

Previously, it was reported that the Netherlands will allow restriction-free entry for travellers from the United States and five other third countries from June 24.



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