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The Netherlands requires most travellers from outside the EU to present a negative PCR test result to show that they are not carriers of COVID-19. One of the exemptions to this rule is:

People arriving from countries on the EU list of safe countries;

Does that exemption still apply if one departs from a country on the list, has a layover (same ticket; different flight; without leaving the airport) in a third country that's not on the list (or otherwise exempted), to continue the final flight to the Netherlands?

So the flight path is as follows:

Safe country on the EU list => third country outside Schengen that's not on the list => the Netherlands

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I have obtained a more definite sounding answer by email from Directorate of Consular Affairs / Consular Affairs, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Negatieve testuitslag op doorreis via de luchthaven

Negative test result for transit

Reizigers uit risicogebieden die op de luchthaven in Nederland aankomen en per vliegtuig direct doorreizen, hebben ook een negatieve COVID-19-testuitslag nodig.

Travelers from high-risk areas who arrive at the airport in the Netherlands directly by air need a negative COVID-19 test result.

Reizigers die hun reis begonnen in een veilig land en een overstap hadden in een risicogebied, hebben geen negatieve testuitslag nodig.

Travelers who began their journey in a safe country and had a transfer in a high-risk area do not need a negative test result.

But this only confirms that it won't be a problem for the Dutch authority. Whether you can actually board or not depends on the airline (of the leg to the Netherlands), so you should still confirm this beforehand with the carrier.


I asked the Dutch Government about a hypothetical NZ-Doha-AMS itinerary but the reply is not really clear.

Je hebt in principe geen test nodig als je vanuit een door de EU als veilig bestempeld land naar Nederland reist. Ik zou je wel adviseren je ticket vanuit Nieuw Zeeland bij de hand te houden en voor de zekerheid contact te zoeken met de luchtvaartmaatschappij en overheid van Qatar, om te vragen welke regels zij hanteren voor aansluitende vluchten.

In principle, you do not need a test if you are travelling to the Netherlands from a country declared safe by the EU. However, I would advise you to keep your ticket from New Zealand at hand and, just to be on the safe side, contact the airline company and government of Qatar to ask what rules they apply to connecting flights.

So you should probably still ask the airlines concerned and get an answer in writing. It is also probably the best to book single-ticket itineraries instead of self-transfer.

Of course like most COVID related rules, these regulations can change any time.

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  • Did you just receive this answer? I was under the impression that the Netherlands now requires a negative PCR test result for any travel to the country, even from neighbouring EU country (it wasn't the case when this Q&A was initiated). – Relaxed Jan 14 at 10:31
  • @Relaxed Yes, I just received it an hour ago after asking it on Dec 28. Safe non-EU countries (e.g. New Zealand, China, Singapore) remain an exception under current, more stringent rules. – xngtng Jan 14 at 10:38

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