Travel guidelines and rules | NS International
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Train travel guidelines and rules per country

This page was updated on September 7, 2021.

Travelling in the coming months

The travel advice for some countries will be changed to 'code yellow' in the coming period. This means that there are risks, but that you can travel to those countries. Upon return, you will no longer need to go into quarantine.

As of 1 July, travel within Europe will be made easier by the introduction of a corona certificate.Read more about travel within Europe this summer

Return journeys from European countries with color code yellow

From August 8, all travelers aged 12 and older will need a corona certificate to travel back from a country with color code yellow. A corona certificate is a:

  • vaccination certificate;
  • proof of recovery;
  • test result.

You can be tested for corona in your holiday country. A PCR test may be taken up to 48 hours before departure. An antigen test can be up to 24 hours old. View the test options abroad

Pay attention: You may be checked on the train. If you do not have corona proof, you can be fined €95.

Guidelines and rules per country

Below you can see the rules and guidelines for travelling by train per country or find the link to the local authorities. The measures can change per country or area and per day. It is possible that the information shown is no longer complete or up to date. You cannot derive any rights from this overview. It is your own responsibility to check which travel restrictions apply to your trip. Therefore, always check the current travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or from the government of the country of destination or the countries you are travelling through.


Belgium

We advise you to take a good look at the travel advice from the government.

For all passengers travelling to Belgium:

  • For all passengers travelling to Belgium: If you are staying in Belgium for more than 48 hours, you must fill in your travel and contact details on an online form (Public Health Passenger Locator Form) before arrival. You can fill in this form from 48 hours before departure.
  • It is compulsory for travellers (over 12 years old) on Belgian public transport to wear a mouth shield. This applies to the bus and train as well as the stations and platforms.
For passengers travelling with Thalys
  • Travellers must be able to present one of these documents: vaccination certificate, proof of recovery or a negative test result from a PCR test, up to 72 hours old.
  • Every passenger travelling with Thalys in Belgium and France must wear a mouth shield on board.

France

Code yellow applies throughout France and there are strict rules for travelers to France. We advise you to take a good look at the travel advice from the government.

Upon arrival in France you must be able to present a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours. This applies to travelers from the age of 12. You must also be in possession of a completed sworn statement.

Rules for travellers to France

You can travel to France if you have a valid digital corona certificate. You must meet one of the following conditions upon arrival in France:

  • A vaccination certificate stating that you have been fully vaccinated 15 days before arrival in France, or have been vaccinated 4 weeks ago with Janssen vaccine. The Dutch yellow vaccination booklet is also accepted.
  • A negative test result from a PCR or antigen test that is not older than 24 hours.
  • A positive result of a PCR or antigen test at least 15 days earlier and not older than 6 months explicitly stating that you are cured of a Covid infection.

    Please note: All travellers to France (11 years and older) must be able to present a completed sworn statement upon arrival in France.

      For passengers travelling with Thalys
      • Travellers must be able to present one of these documents: vaccination certificate, proof of recovery or a negative test result from a PCR test, up to 72 hours old.
      • Every passenger travelling with Thalys in Belgium and France must wear a mouth shield on board.


      England, London

      Rules for travellers to London:

      • You can find the most up-to-date information on the website of the UK government.
      • You must be able to present a negative COVID-19 test, no more than 3 days old. This applies to travelers from 11 years old. Please note that the UK government only accepts certificates of negative test results in English, French or Spanish. More information about the test result.
      • You must fill in your travel and contact details on an online form before departure. You must be able to show this form on your telephone, tablet or laptop or in a printed version upon arrival at the border. You can complete this form 48 hours before departure. This measure applies to both residents of the United Kingdom and visitors.
      • If you are traveling to England and you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to be in quarantine upon arrival. You must, however, have made an appointment for the PCR test on day 2 before departure.
      • If you have not been (fully) vaccinated, you must have made appointments before departure for the PCR test on days 2 and 8. You must also go in quarantine. You are in quarantine at the address you indicated on the form. Please note: On the Passenger Locator Form you must provide the booking reference of the COVID quarantine tests of days 2 and 8. For this you must use the invoice number (7 digits) of the tests. If this invoice number is missing from the Passenger Locator Form, it will not be accepted by the UK authorities. Read more about this on the UK government site
      • If you have booked or checked in on behalf of other people, you are responsible for ensuring that all members of your party are aware of these requirements and have completed the form. If you are traveling with someone under the age of 18, please see here for more information.
      • If you need to go in quarantine in the UK, you may be able to shorten that period with the Test to Release program. Read more on the UK government site
      • Wearing a face mask is mandatory on public transport and stations in England

      For travellers from London:

      • You must show a completed travel declaration when you leave England. Traveling without a completed form is a seen as a criminal offence. If you cannot prove your journey is essential, you may be fined and not allowed to travel. Holidays are not a valid reason.
      • You must be able to present a negative COVID-19 test of no more than 72 hours old when departing from London St Pancras International. You will not be allowed to check in without a negative test result. In the Netherlands you have to quarantine for 10 days. On day 5 you can have yourself tested by the GGD. Read more on the netherlands worldwide

      For travellers with Eurostar:

      • Wearing a mouth shield (may be homemade) is mandatory in Eurostar.
      • It is possible that at check-in you will be assigned a different place to give everyone enough space on the train. Partners and families may sit next to each other.
      • Catering is temporarily not served on the route from the Netherlands to Brussels. Meals will be served to 1st class travelers (Business and Standard Premier) between Brussels and London. You can get a snack or drink in the bar carriage. Catering at the stations is very limited.

      Germany

      From 8 August 2021, the Netherlands will no longer be a corona risk area for Germany. From September 6, 2021, the rules for the return journey will change.

      To Germany

      • If you have been in the Netherlands only for the past 10 days, you do not have to register before departure and you do not have to go in quarantine at home on arrival. However you must be able to submit a corona certificate in Germany. This can be a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or a negative test result from a PCR or antigen rapid test. More information at www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl
      • All persons from the age of 12 who cannot show proof of recovery or vaccination, must be tested for corona before departure to Germany. This also applies to transit passengers and to local border traffic that travels into Germany for a maximum of 24 hours.
      • For journeys within Germany, wearing a medical-grade mask (FFP2 mask) is mandatory, this applies to all trains. The obligation also applies at stations and platforms. Please note: on the route of ICE and IC Berlin within the Netherlands a face mask is also mandatory.

      From Germany to the Netherlands

      From September 6, 2021 you must be able to show a corona certificate for the return trip to the Netherlands. More information at www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl (Dutch).

      Do you want to change or cancel? This is possible if you have a flexible ticket with at least the Sparpreis Europe rate (mid-flex). You can then change your trip free of charge up to 1 day before departure. You can cancel your ticket online.

      Read more about changing or cancelling tickets
      Read more about flexible booking

      For travellers with ICE International or Intercity Berlin:

      • In the bistro on board the ICE and IC Berlin trains only "take away" catering is available. No service is provided. Payment by credit card is preferred.
      • In some trains it is possible to pay with PIN. The lounges are closed at the German stations.

      Other countries and trains

      You can book a trip through Germany online for a maximum of 4 people. If you want to travel with more people, you can do so in two bookings.