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Holiday abroad? Don't forget to arrange your travel certificate

Since May 15, The Netherlands the travel advice for certain (parts of) countries adjusted from code orange to code yellow. These include Ireland, Portugal, Thailand and the Greek Isles† This means that non-essential travel, such as vacations, is no longer recommended for those countries. For example, a negative test result is no longer necessary to return to the Netherlands from those countries and you no longer have to go into preventive quarantine. You may also have more rights vis-à-vis your employer if you become infected during a trip to those countries. 

Before you immediately book a holiday to a code-yellow area such as the Canary Islands, keep in mind that the destination countries themselves may also have conditions to travel there. For example, most countries still require a recent negative test result with an official travel certificate.

Obtain travel certificate

Travel certificates, also known as travel declarations, non-COVID-19 declarations or COVID-free declarations, are not issued by the government test locations (GGDs). This is because the GGD test capacity is in principle only intended to prevent spread within the Netherlands. For tests with travel certificates, you can go to a commercial test provider, such as Coronasnelcheck. Coronasnelcheck is the cheapest test provider and has various locations in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht, Laren, Huizen, Amersfoort and soon also in Rotterdam. The same quality requirements that apply to GGD test locations also apply to commercial test locations.

Most countries require a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or other type of NAAT test, as these are the most accurate and reliable types of tests. Corona Snelcheck always provides a travel certificate with every PCR test taken, included in the price. You can also opt for other test types, such as the quick check (antigen test) or shallow nose test, and optionally request a travel certificate. Make sure to check whether the destination country accepts this type of test.

What is on a travel certificate?

An internationally recognized travel certificate serves as an additional guarantee that the test result is legitimate. In addition to certain personal details such as your name, date of birth and passport number, the document also contains information about the test taken. Think of the date of the test, the medical institution or doctor who took and checked the test and of course the result of the test. The type of test (eg PCR test) and the way in which the test was administered, for example with a nose and throat swab with a cotton swab, are all included in the travel statement. The document is in English, the test result is reported in 8 different languages. The travel certificate is signed by the responsible doctor/medical institution. The aforementioned Corona Snelcheck arranges the travel certificates in collaboration with the BrightLabs/Healthmark laboratory.

Plan your application well

In order to have as much certainty as possible about a possible infection with the corona virus, most countries require a result of a test that was taken no more than 72 hours before reaching the border or boarding the aircraft/ship. Coronasnelcheck always delivers the test result and accompanying travel certificate no later than in the evening of the day after the day on which the test was taken. If necessary, you can also opt for a special emergency result, whereby the result and travel statement will be received on the same day, provided the test is taken before 11:00 a.m.

Free European travel certificate?

Talks are underway about introducing free PCR testing with travel certificates for travel within the EU. So far, this has not yet led to realisation. The main stumbling block is the question of whether taxpayers should bear the costs arising from individual travel needs. As it looks now, you will have to pay for a PCR test with travel certificate yourself this summer, by requesting it from a commercial test provider such as Coronasnelcheck.

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