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New quarantine requirements in Netherlands??


Psoque
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We were arriving in Amsterdam on Sept. 28th, a couple of days early, prior to our departure on Amawaterways Amsterdam to Basel cruise on Sept. 30th.  Like so many others, we've rescheduled our flight to arrive on the 30th instead.  I contacted our TA today and she informed me that the cruise will be leaving  Amsterdam 1 day early and docking in Dusseldorf.  They have plans for a city tour if you choose.  This whole thing doesn't make sense to me.  You need to provide proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test and then they'll let you walk around their city for 12 hours, but then you have to leave or self quarantine.  I don't get it.  This is our 3rd booking after two previous cancellations due to Covid.  I'm hoping the rest of our trip goes smoothing, but we still have 3 weeks to go so a lot could change between now and then.  After the cruise, we have plans to go to Prague & Berlin.  So we'll see how that goes.  🙂

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11 hours ago, mapsd said:

Word from Scenic today is that they are scrambling to come up with an alternative ending to our Basel-Amsterdam cruise & hope to let us know later today.

Alternatives mentioned were:

  1. Remain in Germany longer, sail into Amsterdam during final night, and escort all straight to Schiphol.
  2. End the cruise Germany/Belgium and bus straight to Schiphol.
  3. Shorten the cruise and compensate us for the days missed. 

Just received a message from Scenic, and they are going with option 1.

We are spending an extra night in Cologne, and instead of a full day in Amsterdam, we will arrive at the dock and be transported to Schiphol to stay under the 12 hour limit.

 

No details yet, but hope we are compensated in some way for missing the Amsterdam activities, and that they come up with something good for another full day in Cologne (Aachen, Ahr Valley?)

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I found that our stay in Cologne (on AMA, going upstream) was too short and I felt (correctly) that my chances of being in Amsterdam again were greater than being in Cologne again – so I for one would have no trouble making lemonade out of this lemon!

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Thank you @mapsd When do you arrive in Switzerland? Is it just in time to do the cruise or will you be in the EU for some days prior to your cruise, mainly 10 days by the time you reach AMS?  I received this reply today to an inquiry I made with Netherlands gov't. 

 

"I understand that you would like more information on this. What matters is where someone is travelling from and where they have been in the 10 days prior to travelling. So if someone travels from Basel (or another high risk area) to the Netherlands and they have not been in a very high risk area in the 10 days prior, then they do need a proof of vaccination, a proof of recovery or a negative test, but they do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival. On the other hand, if someone is travelling from a very high risk area like the United States, or when they have been in a very high risk area in the past 10 days, then they do have to abide by the quarantine requirement."

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1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I found that our stay in Cologne (on AMA, going upstream) was too short and I felt (correctly) that my chances of being in Amsterdam again were greater than being in Cologne again – so I for one would have no trouble making lemonade out of this lemon!

I agree with this!

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@mapsd There is so much to see in Cologne and the area that I think this a good way of getting round the 10day problem. The Ahr valley is out I am afraid (probably for the whole year) but Aachen would be a great place to visit.

 

I am little surprised though that Scenic does not opt for Xanten, they have a well established cooperation with that port for docking and sightseeing.

 

Perhaps it is better to replace a big city with a big city in the excursion offers in this case, for that another day in Cologne is the obvious choice.

 

notamermaid

 

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So based on what is below, the 12 hour thing is for car or motorbike, no info with respect to water travel; and from a "very high risk" country (as opposed to just high risk) they do not want people even flying through AMS. So I guess if people are coming from the Basel end and have their 10 days out of the US they are fine regardless.  My cruise leaves from AMS and I have not heard yet what Uniworld wants to do (extra time in Cologne sounds really nice) , but I don't think that I can still fly into AMS then take a train or even a connecting flight elsewhere. I'd definitely rather fly somewhere else than have to fly in the day the cruise leaves, that makes me too nervous.

 

A European entry ban is in effect for some people, barring them from travelling from a high-risk area to the European Union or the Schengen area.

You may only transit in the Netherlands if:

You are travelling from a safe country/region where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.

.....

If you are travelling across the border by car or motorbike you do not need to provide a negative result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery if:

you are staying in the Netherlands for less than 12 hours

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7 hours ago, aggie78 said:

Thank you @mapsd When do you arrive in Switzerland? Is it just in time to do the cruise or will you be in the EU for some days prior to your cruise, mainly 10 days by the time you reach AMS? ...

We're flying out this Friday for a few pre-cruise days in Switzerland.

We'll actually arrive at the Amsterdam dock exactly 10 days after leaving the US, & we'll have been tested recently, so should actually be safe to stay in the Netherlands anyway.  

We're actually departing immediately for Belgium by train, so will be out of the country in 12 hours regardless.

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3 hours ago, CRK9313 said:

 

 

A European entry ban is in effect for some people, barring them from travelling from a high-risk area to the European Union or the Schengen area.

You may only transit in the Netherlands if:

You are travelling from a safe country/region where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.

Could you tell me where you found this?  I went though the official Dutch website about the new quarantine requirements and found that those who transfer in Netherlands are exempt from the mandatory quarantine, as long as they do not leave the airport/train station, etc.  Also, the 12 hour rule should also apply so we should be exempt from mandatory quarantine.

 

But the rules listed in the website are not very well presented.

Edited by Psoque
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It's all so confusing. We fly into Amsterdam this Friday and will be transported to the boat docked in Emmerich Germany. I take this to mean all of the arrival processes and transport to the dock are considered to be within the 12 hour window allowed, even with leaving the airport. The boat is apparently not allowed to dock in Amsterdam. It would seem likely those traveling in the other direction would not be allowed to dock in Amsterdam at the end of their cruise. We must also fill out the Netherlands Quarantine Declaration and Viking has instructed us to state in the Exemption section "staying in the Netherlands for a short period of time." I'm sort of glad we're getting all of this out of the way at the beginning of the cruise. We fly home from Zurich, so no such worries at that end (so far!). 

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It seems the Dutch website is giving us conflicting information about whether people from "very high risk" country can in fact change planes/transfer from a flight to another form of transport (or variation theof) in Netherlands.

 

In the section titled "Checklist for transit or short stay in the Netherlands" or "Checklist transfer/transit in the Netherlands (changing planes)," it says that

 

"A European entry ban is in effect for some people, barring them from travelling from a high-risk area to the European Union or the Schengen area.

You may only transit in the Netherlands if:

  • You are travelling from a safe country/region where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.

You will find the lists of safe areas/countries within and outside the EU/Schengen area in the  checklists for entering or returning to the Netherlands from abroad.

  • You have been fully vaccinated.
  • The purpose of your trip falls under one of the exemption categories:
    • You are travelling through the Netherlands to a non-EU/Schengen country. You must prove that you have a connecting flight to a country outside the Schengen area. The connecting flight must depart within 48 hours of your arrival in the Netherlands. You must not leave the airport’s international transit zone in this period. Please note: the United Kingdom (UK) is not part of the EU/Schengen area. 
    • You are travelling to an EU country/Schengen area country via the Netherlands. You must be able to show you have permission to enter the EU country/Schengen country in question. You can do this with a note verbale from that country’s embassy, for example, or another type of document that proves you can travel there. If you do not have such a document, the Dutch border authorities will determine whether you may travel via the Netherlands. Without a document showing you have permission to enter the EU country/Schengen country in question, you are advised to fly there directly and not via the Netherlands. If you will be making a short stop at a Dutch airport you may need an airport transit visa. Please note: the United Kingdom (UK) is not part of the EU/Schengen area. 

Read more about the EU entry ban and the exemption categories"

 

In this section above, it is not clear if one must be from safe country/region AND vaccinated or from safe country/region OR vaccinated. 

 

In another section regarding exceptions to the mandatory quarantine titled "EU entry ban exemption categories," it says "Transit, transfer" is a valid exception, defined as:

 

"

  • You are travelling through the Netherlands to a non-EU/Schengen area country. You must prove that you have a connecting flight to a country outside the Schengen area. The connecting flight must depart within 48 hours of your arrival at the airport. You must not leave the airport’s international transit zone in this period. Please note: the United Kingdom (UK) is not part of the EU/Schengen area. 
    • You are travelling to an EU country/Schengen area country via the Netherlands. You must be able to show you have permission to enter the EU country/Schengen country in question. You can do this with a note verbale from that country’s embassy, for example, or another type of document that proves you can travel there. If you do not have such a document, the Dutch border authorities will determine whether you may travel via the Netherlands. Without a document showing you have permission to enter the EU country/Schengen country in question, you are advised to fly there directly and not via the Netherlands. If you will be making a short stop at a Dutch airport you may need an airport transit visa. This depends partly on your nationality. The Visa Advisor tool helps you determine whether you need an airport transit visa. Please note: the United Kingdom (UK) is not part of the EU/Schengen area. 
    •  

    •  
    •  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So depending on which part of the website we read, and how we interpret the passages, it could mean two different things.  I'm sure the contents of the website was complied in a big hurry, and it really shows.

 

And I also see yet another section that defines exemptions to quarantine requirement that says something slightly different.  What a mess!!

Edited by Psoque
fixed something weird
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@Mapsd, thanks for posting that link.  I read through all of it multiple times. So, you must fill out that declaration and having a layover in the airport gives you an exempt status from having to quarantine.

(That is how I understood it).

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This is the new announcement from Crystal Cruises regarding their Rhine River cruises:

 

https://www.crystalcruises.com/advisory-alerts/crystal-debussy-2021-voyages-changes-to-netherlands-entry-requirements

 

Here's what I understood from the announcement

 

-For Amsterdam-to-Basel cruises, Crystal will no longer overnight in Amsterdam, but will leave Amsterdam at 6 PM of the embarkation date, and add Dusseldorf as an additional port of call.  Crystal is asking those passengers who wish to have a pre-cruise stay to either do that in another country (or not to do any pre-cruise stay anywhere) and enter Netherlands on the day of embarkation.

 

-For Basel-to-Amsterdam cruises, Crystal is saying that there's no quarantine requirement since the ship is entering Netherlands from Germany.  I am very surprised to read this.  I thought that one must spend at least 10 days outside of "very high risk" countries to escape the mandatory quarantine in Netherlands.  Perhaps the rules have changed again???

 

Pasted below is the actual text of the announcement, as of now.

 

Crystal Debussy Itineraries & Changes To Dutch Entry Requirements

  • Issued Wednesday, September 8, 2021 9pm EST


    Crystal River Cruises continues to monitor the Netherlands’ updated entry requirements for residents of select countries, including the United States, which began September 4 and, as such, we have the following update for our guests. 

    Please see the below update when Crystal Debussy sails Amsterdam-Basel:

    As the requirements currently stand, travelers from high-risk areas who are staying in the Netherlands for a short stay (12 hours or less) are exempt from the self-quarantine rule. Therefore, if guests are traveling from a very high-risk country directly into the Netherlands and are planning a pre-cruise hotel/land stay, we recommend they change their hotel arrangements to some other country within the EU and/or plan to fly into Amsterdam on embarkation day arriving no later than 2 p.m.  

    So that all of our guests can enjoy their vacation, we are making a slight modification to Crystal Debussy’s itinerary by sailing at 6 p.m. on embarkation day, rather than remaining in Amsterdam overnight.  On Day 2 of the itinerary, we have added Düsseldorf, Germany with a 2 p.m. arrival and the ship remaining overnight.  The balance of the itinerary will remain as scheduled.  

    Our website will be updated within the next week with this information and new tickets will be issued to reflect this change. Please note: should the Dutch government later drop the quarantine requirement we will revert back to our originally-planned itinerary and notify our guests of that change.

    As a reminder, travelers from very high-risk areas will now need to show a negative COVID test (PCR or Antigen) to the carrier (air, bus or rail) that is transporting them into the Netherlands. Travelers who take a PCR test must do so no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in the Netherlands and travelers who take an antigen test must do so no more than 24 hours before arrival. 

    Please see the below update when Crystal Debussy sails Basel-Amsterdam:

    While the new entry rules currently list Germany as a high-risk area, travelers who enter the Netherlands from Germany are currently not subject to self-quarantine or testing.  Therefore, we believe Crystal Debussy’s itinerary that starts in Basel and sails to Amsterdam, which includes 1-night aboard Crystal Debussy in Amsterdam at the end of the cruise, will be able to operate as planned.  

    Guests may find details of the entry rules, including a definition of very high-risk areas, on this site maintained by the Dutch government. We strongly encourage our guests to check the website for further updates as they get closer to travel.

    We are contacting all affected guests, and their travel advisers, with details of these updates. As our call volume is high at present, we kindly ask for your patience and check back here for further updates. We thank you for your understanding.  
     
    Crystal River Cruises has developed strict health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19 and was the first River cruise line to require 100 percent mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all guests and crew. The line and its guests will always be in full compliance with all local and global requirements, and we will continue to update our protocols as appropriate.  

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Does anyone know when the first river cruise leaves Amsterdam that will confirm that this 12 short stay window will apply to cruise travel?  I'm looking for confirmation that a cruise line has been able to convince the Dutch government to allow people from high-risk regions to move from the airport to the pier.  Is it this week?

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https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/6448/

 

This article summarizes the changes as of yesterday, and specific statements from several cruise lines. It sounds like it's been worked out. Fortunately I have about 7 weeks to see what Uniworld does, and that includes 3 ams to bas trips. Who knows, maaaaaaaaybe this will change by the end of next month.

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6 minutes ago, CRK9313 said:

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/6448/

 

This article summarizes the changes as of yesterday, and specific statements from several cruise lines. It sounds like it's been worked out. Fortunately I have about 7 weeks to see what Uniworld does, and that includes 3 ams to bas trips. Who knows, maaaaaaaaybe this will change by the end of next month.

You may not have noticed this, but this information on Cruise Critic has been edited overnight.  Initially, it contained a few specific information about how individual cruise lines are complying with the Dutch regulations, including a statement from Crystal saying that US passengers entering Netherlands from Germany do not need to quarantine.  Now, some of the statements, including those from Crystal have been removed entirely.  I think more changes and announcements are pending.

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30 minutes ago, Psoque said:

You may not have noticed this, but this information on Cruise Critic has been edited overnight.  Initially, it contained a few specific information about how individual cruise lines are complying with the Dutch regulations, including a statement from Crystal saying that US passengers entering Netherlands from Germany do not need to quarantine.  Now, some of the statements, including those from Crystal have been removed entirely.  I think more changes and announcements are pending.

Oops.  Correction, the surprising statements from Crystal Cruises were never mentioned  in the Cruise Critic article.  But other trade news websites have included these statements from Crystal that came out  last night.

Edited by Psoque
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I found this to be what currently would apply to our upcoming BSL to AMS situation if the rules stay the same.  We have the pre-cruise nights needed in Basel.  Of course, our sailing is a month from now, so who knows.  (seems this was rushed as many misspellings).

 

https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/visiting-the-netherlands-from-abroad/self-quarantine/exceptions-mandatory-quarantine

Exemptions from the mandatory quarantine requirement

"This applies to people who, immediately prior to their arrival in the Netherlands, have stayed in an area not designated as very high risk for at least 10 consecutive days.

Documents required

Quarantine declaration or proof of accomodation

Travellers must be able to provide a document showing that, in the 10 days immediately prior to their arrival in the Netherlands, they were staying in an area not designated as very high risk."

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If I was originally flying into Amsterdam early for pre-cruise days, I'd probably keep my original flight & just head to Belgium instead.

It's a quick train ride from Schiphol to Antwerp (or Ghent/Brussels), & take the train back to Amsterdam Centraal to board your cruise!  Easily less than 12 hours in the Netherlands.

 

We're doing post-days in Ghent & found lodging to be plentiful and affordable.  Day trips to Bruges, Brussels, & Antwerp, then returning to AMS for our flight home.

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That would be my choice as well. Bruges is fabulous and in the absence of many non-European travellers now is probably a good time to visit (albeit with the restrictions the Belgian government has imposed).

 

notamermaid

 

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We are on an Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel on Sept. 18th.   The present itinerary has us overnighting in Amsterdam through Sept. 19th.  According to the rule changes, it's not possible to stay in Amsterdam more than 12 hours.  There has been no communication from Avalon about an itinerary adjustment, so I've called them and they said "we'll reach out to you when we have an update."  Really?  With the cruise so close in time, you don't know yet?  Avalon has been useless as far as informing us what is going on with our cruise.  This is our first river cruise and we are first-time customers of Avalon, and it will probably be our last based on this very poor pre-cruise experience.

 

 

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2 hours ago, mapsd said:

If I was originally flying into Amsterdam early for pre-cruise days, I'd probably keep my original flight & just head to Belgium instead.

It's a quick train ride from Schiphol to Antwerp (or Ghent/Brussels), & take the train back to Amsterdam Centraal to board your cruise!  Easily less than 12 hours in the Netherlands.

 

We're doing post-days in Ghent & found lodging to be plentiful and affordable.  Day trips to Bruges, Brussels, & Antwerp, then returning to AMS for our flight home.

That sounds great, and things could change but I just saw this...2092194435_Screenshot_20210909-125322_SamsungInternet.thumb.jpg.f3d57550e266dc4e064c323bad260a8d.jpg

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