Travelling to Rotterdam for business: Latest COVID-19 information

Updated on February 16, 2022

The COVID-19 related restrictions are being eased in many countries and travelling to Rotterdam is no exception. International travelling for business is slowly becoming more feasible, but what are the conditions and regulations if you decide to come here?

The Dutch government is focusing on opening up the country as safely as possible again. Below, you can find the latest information given by the Dutch government.

What’s new? Press conference February 15

The Dutch government has introduced a 3-step plan on how to best reopen the country. During the press conference on Tuesday, February 15th, it was announced that within 3 stages, the Netherlands is expected to open up fully again. The success of this implementation will be discussed during the following press conference in March.

Step 1: Effective immediately

Effective immediately the recommendation to receive no more than 4 visitors a day is cancelled. The advice on working from home as much as possible is changed to a recommendation to work no more than half the time at the office.

Step 2: February 18th 

From Friday 18th of February all locations in the Netherlands will be allowed to stay open until 01.00. Until 25th of  February, the coronavirus entry pass (3G) must be shown at locations where this is currently mandatory, such as restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres and music venues and at professional sporting events. The recommended period of self-isolation after a positive test result will be shortened to 5 days, but you must be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before you stop self-isolating.

Step 3: February 25th

On Friday, 25th of February, opening times will return to normal and the following requirements will be lifted:

  • Showing a coronavirus entry pass (3G) at locations accommodating fewer than 500 people.
  • Staying 1.5 metres apart.
  • Wearing face masks in public places.
  • That means that large festivals and events can open up without limitations.
  • To ensure that vulnerable people are able to travel safely, the requirement to wear a face mask on public transport and at airports will remain in force even after February 25th.

On 15 March the government will evaluate the remaining rules including the face mask requirement for public transport, the pre-admission testing requirement (1G) and the advice on working from home.

All the rules, recommendations and conditions are explained in more detail at government.nl/coronavirus.

What’s new? Press conference January 25

During the latest press conference on January 25th, it was announced that as of Wednesday 26 January, most locations in the Netherlands can once again be open, under certain conditions. This means that restaurants and bars, cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, zoos and amusement parks can reopen. Shops, educational institutions, and contact-based services such as hair salons have already opened, and participating in indoor and outdoor sports activities and artistic and cultural activities has already been permitted.

The following measures are applicable from Wednesday, January 26th:

  • In general, all locations may be open from 05:00 to 22:00.
  • Always stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Receive no more than 4 visitors a day.
  • Do a self-test before visiting others or receiving visitors, and before going to a public location.
  • Face masks are mandatory for everyone aged 13 and over in public indoor spaces and public transport.
  • Everyone aged 13 and over must show a coronavirus entry pass at locations where this is mandatory, such as restaurants, bars, theatres and music venues, museums, cinemas, zoos, amusement parks, saunas and casinos. At sports facilities, a coronavirus entry pass is required for people aged 18 and over.
  • Work from home. If that is not possible, always stay 1.5 metres apart at work.

For the full list of new measures, please visit corona measures in brief.

What’s new? Press conference January 14

On Friday evening, the Dutch government held a new press conference, informing how the Netherlands will proceed to deal with the effects of Omicron. The biggest change – non-essential shops, gyms and sports clubs, music schools, and locations where contact-based professions are carried out (such as hairdressers) can reopen, but the rules on the use of face masks have been tightened. During the next press conference, scheduled on January 25th, it will be determined whether more regulations can be lifted.

The following measures are applicable from Saturday, January 15th:

  • Receive no more than 4 visitors aged 13 and over a day. Visit no more than 1 household a day.
  • Outdoors, people are advised not to meet in groups of more than 4 people aged 13 and over.
  • All restaurants, bars and cafés are closed, except for takeaway and delivery.
  • Cinemas, museums, theatres and concert venues are closed.
  • Essential shops, such as supermarkets and chemists, can stay open until 20.00.
  • Petrol stations, pharmacies, driving schools, notaries, lawyers and other essential service providers can be open for their normal opening hours.
  • These measures apply in addition to the existing restrictions and advice, such as the face mask requirement, the advice to do a self-test before visiting others or receiving visitors and the advice to work from home.

For the full list of new measures, please visit corona measures in brief.

What’s new? Press conference December 18

On Saturday evening, the Dutch government announced that the Netherlands is entering a strict lockdown effective immediately. During the press conference, it was shared that the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in the country and the Outbreak Management Team is predicting that the variant will become the dominant by the end of the month. Due to this, the country entered a hard lockdown from Sunday, December 19th and is set to last until January 14th at least.

The following measures are applicable from Sunday, December 19th:

  • Everyone should stay at home as much as possible and avoid busy places.
  • Receive no more than 2 visitors aged 13 and over per day. On 24, 25 and 26 December and on 31 December and 1 January the maximum number of visitors aged 13 and over is 4 per day.
  • The maximum group size outdoors for people aged 13 and over is 2 people.
  • Educational institutions and out-of-school care (BSO) are closed until at least 9 January 2022. There are some exceptions. On 3 January the government will decide in what form education will resume from 10 January.
  • All hospitality venues are closed, except for delivery and takeaway.
  • All non-essential shops are closed, except for click and collect and returns.
  • Essential shops, such as supermarkets and chemists, can open until 20.00. Face masks must be worn. The maximum number of shoppers is one per 5 square metres.
  • Cinemas, museums, theatres and concert venues are closed.

For the full list of new measures, please visit corona measures in brief.

What’s new? Press conference December 14

On Tuesday evening, December 14th, the Dutch government held a new press conference to inform the public about latest COVID-19 measures. Although the current restrictions were initially due to last until December 19th, this is not the case anymore, and evening closures remain prolonged until January 2022.

The new Omicron variant is causing high concerns and demands a new and cautious approach. Below, you can find an outline of the main measures currently in place:

  • Everyone should stay at home as much as possible, and limit their number of contacts outside the home.
  • Always stay 1.5 metres away from other people.
  • Receive no more than 4 visitors per day (not including children under 13) and limit visits to one a day.
  • Do a self-test before visiting others or receiving visitors.
  • Coronavirus entry passes are mandatory for everyone aged 13 and over at all locations where people are assigned seats, such as restaurants and bars, theatres, concert halls, museums and cinemas, and in indoor sports venues. At all these locations, people must stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • Between 17.00 and 05.00 most locations must be closed and events are not permitted.
  • Essential shops, such as supermarkets and chemists, can stay open until 20.00.

For the full list of new measures, please visit corona measures in brief.

What’s new? Press conference November 26

The unfortunate increase in covid-19 cases in the Netherlands has forced the Dutch government to reapply stricter measures for the upcoming weeks. On Friday, November 26 the government held a press conference and  introduced the new measures which are intended to significantly reduce the frequency of contact between people.

What is changing?

  • Everyone should stay at home as much as possible.
  • Between 17.00 and 05.00 locations must be closed and events are not permitted.
  • Everyone aged 18 and over must stay 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Essential shops, such as supermarkets can stay open until 20.00.
  • Face masks while moving around and 1.5-metre distancing are required at all locations where people have assigned seats. This means fewer people can be admitted to these locations.
  • The rules for working from home have been tightened: ‘Work from home. If this is impossible: stay 1.5 metres apart at work.’
  • Do a self-test before visiting others or receiving visitors.

For the full list of new measures, please visit corona measures in brief.

What’s new? Press conference November 12

On Friday, November 12th, the Dutch government held latest press conference hopes to combat a sharp increase in COVID-19 infection rates.

Here are the main takeaways from the press conference:

  • Work at home, unless you must work at your workplace.
  • Receive a maximum of 4 guests a day at home. This does not include children up to and including 12 years of age.
  • If a member of your household or housemate is infected with the coronavirus, your whole household must go into quarantine.
  • Many locations have restricted opening hours. Non-essential shops are now open from 06:00-18:00, essential shops including supermarkets, pet shops and opticians are now open from 06:00-20:00.
  • Allocated seating is compulsory in places where a coronavirus entry pass is required. This applies to the catering industry, sports, art and culture and events.
  • Catering establishments, such as restaurants and cafés are also open until 20:00.
  • Events are only permitted from 06:00 to 18:00.
  • Events may only allow entry to a maximum of 1 250 people in an indoor area.
  • The Netherlands government has issued travel advice per country.
  • Do you have holiday plans? Travelling is and remains a risk, for more specific information, please check the travel advice on Wijsopreis.nl (in Dutch).

For the full list of new measures, please visit corona measures in brief.

What’s new? Press conference November 5

Many corona measurements have been lifted or eased in the Netherlands, however certain requirements are still in place.

On November 5, the Dutch government held a press conference announcing new measurements to be effective from November 6th.

The basic rules stay in place that includes getting tested if any COVID-19 symptoms are present even if you have been vaccinated, staying at home and avoiding contact with others if tested positive, keeping 1.5 meter distance and other general safety rules.

Working from home from 3 November 2021, the current advice for working from home will be tightened. From that date onwards, you should work from home for at least half of your normal hours.

Facemasks will be mandatory in more places effective November 6.

Coronavirus entry pass system will be required at more public places from November 6.

Please find the full list of new regulations here .

Keeping safe distance: Staying 1.5 metres from others is no longer mandatory, but is urgently adviced to follow. Additionally, other basic rules: washing hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, not shaking hands, staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms apply.

Coronavirus entry pass system:  From 25th of September, the 1.5 meter distance is no longer required in public spaces throughout the Netherlands. In order to safely enjoy the outdoors and indoors, the Dutch government introduced a corona entry pass. You can get a coronavirus entry pass if you are fully vaccinated, have valid proof of recovery or a negative result from a coronavirus test taken less than 24 hours before entry. For people without proof of vaccination or recovery, getting tested will remain free of charge. 

Traveling from abroad:  Foreign travelers, coming from countries with similar or low health risks situations can enter the Netherlands. 

Facemasks: Wearing facemasks remain mandatory in certain social settings, including public transport.

List of safe countries

The Dutch Government works with a list of ‘safe countries/regions with a low COVID-19 risk’. If you are in a safe country or region, you may travel to the Netherlands. The EU travel ban doesn’t apply to you. You also don’t need to show a negative test result and you are not required to self-quarantine after arrival in the Netherlands. Check the list of safe countries/regions here .

One thing to be aware of is that all travelers over 13 years of age and arriving by plane are required to have completed a Health Declaration Form before boarding.

EU entry ban and exemptions

A European entry ban is still in effect for some people, barring them from traveling to the European Union or the Schengen area. You may only travel to the Netherlands if the purpose of your trip falls under one of the exemption categories. Are you unsure whether your trip to the Netherlands complies with EU regulations? Please check the exemption categories . One of the exemptions concerns business travel.

An exemption to the entry ban for residents from countries that are not on the EU list of safe countries applies to business travelers if the purpose of travel will have demonstrable value for the Dutch economy and Dutch society. The following conditions must be with:

  • the travel is urgent and cannot be postponed
  • the appointment must take place in person
  • the visit is vital to the Dutch economy.

If the criteria of the policy framework are met and the monthly quota has not yet been reached, an application for a Verbal Note can be submitted to the Dutch embassy (or consulate) of the country where the business traveler lives. In practice, the application for a business trip related to a (potential) foreign direct investment in NL is processed by the relevant NFIA office in the country/region where you come from.

Checklist for entry

Finally, if you are traveling to the Netherlands, please also make sure to check the checklist for entering the Netherlands before making your travel arrangements. The same web page provides information about the basic rules that will apply during your stay in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam Expat Centre

If you are an international business traveler or expat coming to Rotterdam and you have practical questions about your stay in our city, please contact the experts at our Rotterdam Expat Center . They will be happy to help you.

Dutch government info

The information on this page is an abbreviation of the official information, accessible on the website of the Dutch Government .

 

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