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Coronavirus and Travel in EMEA

As legislation continues to change regarding border access and COVID-19 causes registration delays in some locations, the following information should help guide travel within several European locales.

Traveling abroad

Rules are changing constantly depending on the location. Below are some linked resources to consult before traveling in EMEA to the countries listed.

  • England: check Foreign Travel Advice for entry rules related to the country you plan to travel to. This source will advise:
    • Whether the country is currently allowing people from England to enter and if there are any conditions of entry.
    • If UK government advises against all but essential travel to this country.
    • If you need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination before entering the country.
    • If you will need to quarantine upon arrival.
  • Netherlands: The Government of the Netherlands website provides checklists and requirements to consult before your trip.
  • Belgium: all travelers entering Belgium must fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
    • Additionally, non-vaccinated travelers from red countries must provide a negative PCR test before entering Belgium.
    • A list of all red areas can be found here.


  • If you are returning to England, you will need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test in the 3 days prior to your travel.
  • If you’re entering or returning to the Netherlands from outside the EU/Schengen area, this checklist should prove helpful (note the UK is no longer part of the EU/Schengen area).
  • If you’re traveling back to the Netherlands from the EU/Schengen area during COVID-19, consult this checklist.

Mask Mandates

Putting vaccination and quarantine needs when traveling aside, it can be confusing to know what health precautions are required in a new location versus what is recommended, and masks or face coverings are no exception.

  • England: the laws relating to wearing face coverings have been lifted, however certain companies—including London Underground/Transport—still require travelers to wear them.
    • The UK government recommends people continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas like public transport or international transport.
  • Belgium: the school year has just begun and students are welcome to attend school in-person, but they will still need to wear a mouth mask when not in classrooms, with the exception of Brussels where they are mandatory at all times.
  • Netherlands: face masks that properly cover the nose, mouth and chin are mandatory in several places. They must be worn in public transport, as well as other passenger transport, on aircrafts, at airports and in secondary schools. This rule applies to everyone age 13 and older.

Delays in Local Registration Appointments: The Netherlands

Be mindful that whether you’re staying for a few months or a few years, you will need to register your residence to receive a BSN (a Dutch social security number), which you will need for all your administration in the Netherlands—including opening a bank account, getting on payroll to receive salary, signing up for Dutch healthcare as well as other possible benefits.

  • If you’re planning on staying in the Netherlands for more than four months, you’re required to register a home address at the town hall in the municipality where you’re living. Keep in mind that as of September 2021, there are elongated waitlists of 4-8 weeks for these registrations, especially in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, due to limited staff and current COVID-19 guidelines.
  • If you’re staying in the Netherlands for less than four months and are working or studying, you will need a BSN, which can be registered for as a non-resident (RNI) solely with your passport with the Personal Records Database (BRP) at one of the 19 municipalities. Once registered you will receive your BSN number. The waiting list for an RNI appointment can be 8-12 weeks at this time.


As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the globe on travel and entry requirements, Altair Global’s team is available to answer any questions you may have. Please reach out to your Client Services or Business Development representative.

For more information on the Coronavirus and its impact on mobility across the globe, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

Altair Global (‘Altair’) has provided this information as a service and convenience for your information only. It is not intended to replace your own legal or financial guidance and/or assistance and you are encouraged to seek the advice of your own tax and legal advisor. Further, the information contained herein is to our knowledge accurate to the extent of the data available to Altair as of the date identified. Altair does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the contents hereof and is under no obligation to update the material contained herein.

Published On: September 10, 2021

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