The Netherlands finally ends SA flight ban and shortens quarantine

Photo by MANIKYAM Mahi on Unsplash

On Tuesday (1 June) the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that flights between the Netherlands and South Africa would be reinstated. The ministry said the country will be easing its blanket ban that restricted flights to and from South Africa for over six months. However, easing these restrictions will predominantly benefit Dutch residents and inbound tourists – with just a few exceptions.

As a reaction to the discovery of the 501Y.V2, the Netherlands imposed a blanket travel ban on South African visitors, drastically limiting flights since late January. While most South Africans will still not be able to enter the Netherlands -due to the ongoing ban imposed by the European Union (EU)- there are, however, several exceptions that permit South Africans to enter the country. These travel exemptions extended to non-EU residents and long-stay visa holders are determined according to five primary categories:

  • Study and Research: South African students travelling to the Netherlands for a short stay (fewer than three months) with proof of enrolment at a recognised educational institution will be permitted to enter. Recognised researchers and scientists are also exempt from the EU travel ban.
  • Work: Especially those employed in the following KEY sectors: Medical (care workers, doctors, and nurses). Transport (container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, fishing boats). Energy (oil or gas platform, wind farm). Seafarers on commercial vessels (with a length of 24 metres or more). Flight crews, journalists and “elite athletes” may also apply for a travel exemption into the EU.
  • Compelling reasons to visit family: Family members (first or second degree) will be allowed to travel for the purpose of visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. Travellers will also be allowed into the EU to see their newborn child or grandchild.
  • Transit or transfer: South African travellers will now be allowed to transit through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol onto another non-EU country.
  • Humanitarian reasons

Non-EU travellers, along with anyone travelling from “high-risk” countries, must present a negative Covid-19 test result – obtained within 24 hours of departure – before boarding their flight to the Netherlands.

Read More | SANParks launches a new ‘group travel’ scheme with discounts and payment plans

Travellers will only need to quarantine for five days and will need to present another negative Covid-19 test result on the fifth day of quarantine.

KLM is currently offering daily flights between Amsterdam and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport with three weekly flights offered to Cape Town. Find more trending news, right here.

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