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The Netherlands is the latest European Union (E.U.) member state to alter its policy toward U.S. travelers in light of the European Commission’s removal of the United States from its ‘safe’ travel list earlier this week. Vaccinated travelers headed to the northwest European nation will now find themselves facing a quarantine period upon arrival, while unvaccinated tourists will have to cancel their plans altogether.
Starting Saturday, September 4, The Netherlands is recategorizing the U.S. as ‘very high-risk’, according to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands. Unvaccinated American travelers will be denied access, and those who are fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine for 10 days upon entering the country. According to USA Today, visitors may qualify to exit quarantine early by getting tested on the fifth day of their isolation.
Additionally, starting September 6, vaccinated U.S. travelers over the age of 12 will need to present proof of a negative PCR or antigen test performed within the 24 hours prior to their departure to gain entry to The Netherlands.
The Netherlands had reopened at the end of June amid the U.S.’ then-falling infection rate and rising vaccination rates, but that was before the ultra-contagious Delta variant gained its present stranglehold on America. From then until now, travelers from the U.S. have been welcomed as long as they could present proof of full vaccination, previous recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test taken within 72 hours of travel.
According to The New York Times COVID tracker, the current average of new cases being reported in the U.S. every day is 164,326, up an average of 14 percent over the past 14-day period. The rolling 14-day average of associated fatalities is up 67 percent at 1,521 new deaths on average occurring daily.
The Netherlands isn’t alone in reinstating restrictions on American travelers in accordance with the European Commission’s removal of the U.S. from its list of countries considered safe for travel. Bulgaria reclassified the U.S. as a ‘red zone’ country, rendering pretty much all Americans ineligible for entry, while Italy is requiring pre-travel testing in addition to proof of full vaccination or recovery from the virus within the past 180 days.
Five other countries that were also removed from the E.U.’s safe travel list this week—Kosovo, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia—are likewise set to be recategorized as ‘very high-risk’ by the Netherlands.