Travel During “COVID”: Netherlands (August 2021)
In August, my wife and I embarked on a journey to the Netherlands aboard WestJet’s inaugural flight from Calgary to Amsterdam! Wow, did it ever feel good to be travelling again after 1.5 years. Although travel conditions generally speaking are not ideal at this point of time, this was a personal trip that was important to us and we seemed to pick a good time to travel there. During our travels we also visited with friends in the southern part of the country, and they provided a true Dutch experience and hospitality! I can go on about the Netherlands as it is an amazing country – it exceeded our expectations. From the beautiful, canaled city of Amsterdam to the extensive beach area of Bloemendaal, then down south to the medieval city of Maastricht and the modern seaport city of Rotterdam, we discovered many diverse cities and towns within this small country.
- Pre-travel to the Netherlands:
- Canada is on the green/safe list to travel there and when we arrived at Schiphol (Amsterdam) airport it was a very seamless process.
- Prior to our flight to Amsterdam we filled out a health declaration form stating that we were fit to enter their country and when we arrived they welcomed us in.
- We did not need to show proof of our vaccinations at this time.
- At the airport and on the plane, masks were required for the entire flight (except while eating/drinking of course).
- During our travels:
- Life felt very normal! Albeit, there were fewer travellers than normal (compared to pre-pandemic in the summertime). The travellers we met or saw along the way were mostly Europeans from France, Spain and Germany.
- Masks were required on public transportation – very similar rules as there are here in Alberta.
- Dining (eating and drinking) is a way of life for the Europeans as we all know and it was nice to be mixed in with the locals.
- A requirement 72 hours prior to arrival into Canada was to get your negative PCR results. We set up a test locally for 80 Euro’s, then they sent the results to us by email within 24 hours later – thankfully, negative.
- With our insurance, we were prepared to extend our stay in quarantine if we in fact tested positive.
- Within 72 hours of arrival into Canada, we also needed to upload the “Arrive CAN App” and we answered a series of questions, confirming we were not experiencing any symptoms and were safe to enter Canada. We also needed to add our vaccination proof.
- At the airport, on departure day, before checking bags and entering security/immigration we had to show that our Arrive CAN app was completed, proof of vaccinations and our negative PCR results.
- Once we arrived into Canada, we went through the normal border control process, then we had to once again share our Arrive CAN app information, proof of vaccinations and negative PCR test. Collected our luggage, then there was a random COVID testing line up – you were selected for testing or you were free to go without quarantining (which we did not have to do).
- We simply went home and were provided with a sheet of paper regarding the health protocols, if we did experience any symptoms and the steps to take from there.
All in all, a seamless experience and I can’t wait for the next international trip! Hopefully with COVID subsided further.
Although things can change, I hope you found this helpful when considering future travel plans.
Co-Founder of Trip Merchant