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SCHIPHOL, NETHERLANDS - 2020/06/26: KLM airplanes seen assembled in a line at Schiphol Airport. (Getty Images)
  • South Africans can now travel to the Netherlands, following the reversal of an earlier flight ban announced on 21 December.
  • Travellers will need to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result obtained within 72 hours of their scheduled arrival in the Netherlands.
  • Even with a negative PCR certificate, visitors will need to self-isolate in quarantine for at least ten days.
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South Africans will be allowed to travel to the Netherlands after the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs reversed a decision earlier this week to ban flights due to the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant.

Although flight paths reopened on Wednesday 23 December, people travelling from South Africa need to present a negative Covid-19 Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine period of ten days.

READ | All the countries that have banned SA flights – or may soon – due to the new corona variant

The news has been welcomed by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. 

“KLM welcomes this decision and confirms that this updated regulation enables KLM to operate all passenger flights from South Africa to Amsterdam from 23 December 2020 and onwards as initially planned,” the airline said in a statement, while reminding South Africans that it operates daily flights between Johannesburg and Amsterdam.

KLM also operates six flights a week between Cape Town and Amsterdam.

The airline said that passengers who had rebooked due to the initial ban announced on 21 December, could either keep their revised tickets or rebook on an earlier, reinstated flight.

The Netherlands was one of the first nations to ban travel from the UK after the presence of a new Covid-19 strain, which has the potential to transmit at higher rates. was confirmed there.

Similarly, the detection of 501.v2, a mutation of SARS-CoV-2, in South Africa, saw several countries declare immediate travel bans to mitigate the variant’s spread.

But while the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared a travel ban on 21 December, it reversed this decision on 23 December, while still stressing that, due to the increased risk of transmission, international travel should be avoided “unless strictly necessary”. It also lift its travel ban on the UK on Wednesday.

The Dutch government adopted new regulations that require that a negative Covid-19 PCR be obtained within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled arrival in the Netherlands.

“Anyone who does not have a negative test declaration will be denied boarding.”

In addition to the negative PCR certificate, anybody travelling from the UK or South Africa will need to enter quarantine for at least ten days.

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