Netherlands to require pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from Singapore

Singapore has been downgraded from the EU's "safe list", and the Netherlands is the first to impose stricter requirements on travellers.

On 9 November 2021, the EU announced that Singapore would be removed from its list of epidemiologically-safe third countries. 

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted. In particular Singapore and Ukraine were removed from the list.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a legally binding decision; EU member states are free to implement the recommendations as they see fit.

However, it means it’s more likely than not we’ll see some additional restrictions imposed on travellers from Singapore, and the Netherlands is the first European country to announce tighter requirements. 

Netherlands now requires pre-departure COVID-19 test

Travellers from Singapore to Amsterdam will soon require a negative pre-departure test

Travellers from Singapore (vaccinated or not) arriving in the Netherlands on or after 0900 hours on 13 November 2021 will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. 

Source: Government of the Netherlands | Quarantine requirement is only for unvaccinated individuals aged 12 and above

However, there is no quarantine requirement, provided you are fully vaccinated, or unvaccinated and aged 11 and below. For all intents and purposes, it won’t wreck your year-end travel plans- just make them slightly more expensive. 

💉 Sinovac is accepted
Netherlands accepts any vaccine which is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or is on the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This includes Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Travellers from Singapore will need to present:

  • A negative PCR result conducted no more than 48 hours before departure
  • A negative ART result conducted no more than 24 hours before departure

The pre-departure test requirement does not apply to children aged 11 or younger, based on their age on the date of arrival in the Netherlands. 

Perhaps a better question is whether you’d have been interested in travelling to the Netherlands in the first place. The Netherland’s vaccine passport system only recognises the EUDCC, and unlike other European countries, they do not have a local mechanism for converting third country certificates into EUDCCs.

So even though your Singapore vaccination certificate will be accepted for entry into the Netherlands, it will not be accepted in day to day life. It basically means you’ll need to undergo ART swabs to get access to indoor venues such as restaurants, cinemas and theatres.

Update: A reader has contacted me to share that she was able to get around fine in Amsterdam by using her Singapore vaccination certificate. YMMV.

For what it’s worth, I did manage to get my Singapore vaccination certificate converted into an EUDCC for free in Munich during my recent trip, so it wouldn’t be an issue for me. 

Pre-departure test requirements for other VTL countries

With this latest development, here’s a summary of testing requirements when travelling from Singapore rto VTL countries. 

⚕️ PDT for Singapore Residents
  Vaccinated Unvaccinated
🇦🇺 Australia
(under 5 exempt)
Not admitted^
🇨🇦 Canada PCR2
(under 5 exempt)
(under 5 exempt)
🇩🇰 Denmark N/A ART/PCR3
(under 16 exempt)
🇫🇷 France N/A ART/PCR4
(under 12 exempt)
🇩🇪 Germany N/A ART/PCR5
(under 12 exempt)
Min. 5-day quarantine

🇮🇹 Italy ART/PCR6
(under 6 exempt)
(under 6 exempt)
🇳🇱 Netherlands ART/PCR7
(under 12 exempt)
(under 12 exempt)
min. 5-day quarantine; exemption for under 12

🇰🇷 South Korea PCR8 Not admitted*
🇪🇸 Spain N/A9 N/A9
🇨🇭 Switzerland N/A ART/PCR10
(under 16 exempt)
🇬🇧 United Kingdom N/A11 N/A11
🇺🇸 United States ART/PCR12
(under 2 exempt)
(under 2 exempt)
1. Within 72h of departure time to Australia
2. Within 72h of departure time of last direct flight to Canada
3. Within 48h/72h (ART/PCR) of entry into Denmark
4. Within 48/72h (ART/PCR) of departure time to France
5. Within 48h/72h (ART/PCR) of entry into Germany
6. Within 72h of entry into Italy
7. Within 24h/48h (ART/PCR) of departure time to Netherlands
8. Within 72h of departure time to South Korea
9. No testing required
10. Within 48h/72h (ART/PCR) of departure time to Switzerland. Further tests on Day 7 (under 16 exempt)
11. Day 2 test required
12. Within 3 days of departure date to USA
^Unvaccinated children aged below 12 will be admitted if travelling with fully vaccinated parents
*Unvaccinated children aged 5 and below will be admitted if travelling with fully vaccinated parents.  They are exempt from testing

If you intend to travel with your unvaccinated child, be sure to familiarise yourself with the possible additional restrictions.

How much will pre-departure testing cost?

As of today, the cheapest pre-departure PCR test in Singapore costs S$107 at SATA CommHealth. Keep in mind the Netherlands doesn’t require a PCR test, so you could do the cheaper ART starting from ~S$30 (if you’re pressed for time, Raffles Medical at Changi Terminal 3 is open 24 hours a day, allowing you to swab just before you fly).

Remember that self-administered tests are not accepted, and your results slip must state your full name, passport number and date of birth to be valid for travel. 

For more details on getting a pre-departure COVID-19 test in Singapore, refer to the article below.

Where’s the cheapest pre-departure COVID-19 swab test in Singapore?


Germany made a unilateral decision to designate Singapore as a high-risk area last month, but the impact on vaccinated Singaporeans was minimal. I travelled to Frankfurt after the risk level was raised, and the only difference was having to fill in a pre-arrival registration form. 

The way I see it, the worst case scenario is that other European countries impose a pre-departure testing requirement on Singapore. I just can’t see quarantine being required for fully vaccinated individuals, since it goes against the whole “living with COVID” mantra many of them have adopted. If you’re vaccinated and test negative, you’re fine- time to get on with life. 

Update: Well that’s a Dewey Defeats Truman moment. Denmark has now added a quarantine requirement on travellers from Singapore, even if they’re fully vaccinated

It does mean you that if you’re travelling to Europe in the next few weeks, you should look out for any additional testing requirements. Singapore Airlines frequently sends out updated travel advisory emails, so don’t just ignore them when they arrive. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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At least they accept ART. For those countries which require PCR tests Tuesday flights are no fun as most clinics aren’t open on Saturday afternoons or Sunday. The Changi Terminal 3 clinic only shows available slots at 01:00AM-04:30AM this Sunday.


Aaron, does Medicare in Munich provide ART as PDT for travellers?


I hope we don’t get black listed by more countries

Sally Ong

We won’t! 🙂

“The way I see it, the worst case scenario is that other European countries impose a pre-departure testing requirement on Singapore. I just can’t see quarantine being required for fully vaccinated individuals, since it goes against the whole “living with COVID” mantra many of them have adopted. If you’re vaccinated and test negative, you’re fine- time to get on with life.”


Travelling in Amsterdam now and with the exception of one bar, everywhere else has been accommodating with the copy of the vaccine cert from SG. Some places do ask for your passport to cross check your ID, but all good. For now.


Hi Aaron,
If I am travelling in Europe prior entering Netherlands, how does this new rule applies?
Do I need to take ART in the country just before I enter Netherlands?


Really depends on where you’re travelling from. Best look at their checklist

Last edited 2 years ago by Tommy
Siao Moon

Does the requirement for testing include transit passengers?

Siao Moon

Also the website is saying you need a note verbale to transit. Can someone clarify if this is the case please? I am slated to arrive on the 27th this month.

Last edited 2 years ago by Siao Moon
Siao Moon

My end destination is Ireland with two hour transit in Amsterdam, just to be clear.

Adelle Tang


can you check with we will only need ART for travel from Singapore to Netherlands?