Photo: SalFalko via Flickr
 

Exemptions travel ban and self-quarantine for the cultural sector during COVID-19

Working together with an artist from abroad? Read here when someone cannot or can, and under which circumstances, come to the Netherlands to work.
1 October 2020
Michiel van der Padt

In order to get the spread of the coronavirus under control, travel restrictions have been imposed by the Dutch government. This has major consequences for internationally operating artists and cultural professionals. In this article the obstacles and possibilities for these professionals are highlighted.

Read this article in Dutch.

To begin with there is a distinction between the ban on travelling to the Netherlands for individuals from certain countries and areas, and the possibility of entry for individuals as long as they self-quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands for 10 days. The first exemption is a relaxation of the travel ban when an individual meets certain conditions, the second an authorisation for individuals to temporarily leave their self-quarantine for a specific travel purpose.

Relaxation of the entry ban (starting date 16 October)

Since March 18, an entry ban is enforced by the Netherlands. This means that individuals with an EU or British nationality or residents within the EU, a Schengen country or the UK can travel to the Netherlands. Individuals living outside the EU without any of the abovementioned nationalities cannot enter, except for residents from several countries deemed safe and other exempted groups. More information on this can be found here and here.

At the moment, visits from artists and cultural professionals are not yet exempted from the entry ban. However, the government has announced a relaxation to be implemented for these professions soon. It specifically concerns professionals from the cultural and creative sector who meet the following requirements:

  • This concerns highly qualified professionals who are indispensable to the continuance of cultural and creative activities. They are invited for activities of cultural and creative organisations that receive a multiyear grant from Dutch central government, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Cultural Participation Fund, the Performing Arts Fund, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Mondriaan Fund or the Creative Industries Fund NL for the period 2017-2020 or 2021-2024, to which professionals from other countries – such as guest conductors or guest choreographers – make a necessary contribution at the organisation’s invitation.
  • These professionals’ personal physical presence and participation must be decisive for the organisation’s overall ability to conduct its activities.

As soon as the conditions for relaxing the entry restrictions are agreed upon by the involved ministries and sectors the exemption will be effective. For more information and updates, keep an eye on this page.

Purposes of travel for leaving self-quarantine

For many countries where no entry ban for its residents is in place, a strong advice is given to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands. This applies when individuals travel (back) from areas that are marked orange or red by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs due to the local spread of the coronavirus.

Because of the duration of the crisis and the consequences for professional activities caused by the self-quarantine requirement, the government has decided to create exempted categories when self-quarantine may be temporarily left. Since September 14, the travel purpose ‘Participation in professional cultural activities’ has been added. Only for this purpose an individual may leave their self-quarantine. Outside this (travel) purpose the individual must keep themselves to the rules of self-quarantine, such as not traveling with public transport and avoiding social contacts.

The purpose of travel ‘Participation in professional cultural activities’ is defined as follows:

  • Activities of cultural and creative organisations that receive a multiyear grant from Dutch central government, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Cultural Participation Fund, the Performing Arts Fund, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Mondriaan Fund or the Creative Industries Fund NL for the period 2017-2020 or 2021-2024, to which professionals from other countries – such as guest conductors or guest choreographers – make a necessary contribution at the organisation’s invitation. These professionals’ personal physical presence and participation must be decisive for the organisation’s overall ability to conduct its activities.

More information about this may be found here. For further questions on mobility and the corona virus, please contact DutchCulture’s Mobility Info Point.