Laurens Meijer
Advisor Mobility Info Point

Mandatory self-quarantine and the exemption for cultural and creative professionals

Mandatory self-quarantine and the exemption for cultural and creative professionals

Read more about the obligation to self-quarantine and the exemption for cultural professionals to understand what this means for you.
By Laurens Meijer

If you travel to the Netherlands, either returning home or for a short visit, you are likely to be asked to self-quarantine at home or in a hotel for 5-10 days. If this is the case depends on where you are coming from and the local infection rate in your area prior to travelling. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly updates a map of the world (only in Dutch) that indicates if there is a no, medium, high or very high risk of infection in (parts) of a region or country. If you come from an area that is marked orange or red you will either receive the urgent advice to self-quarantine or, in certain cases, the obligation to self-quarantine.

On 1 June 2021 a legal obligation to self-quarantine came into effect on top of the current urgent advice to self-quarantine. This obligation applies to individuals that cross the border into the Netherlands from areas where there is a very high risk of infection. The government indicates that it aims to partly replace specific travel restrictions with a mandatory quarantine to ease travelling. You can find information about which countries in- and outside the EU are marked as a very high risk here. You will need to fill in and sign a quarantine declaration before travelling to the Netherlands in case you are obliged to self-quarantine.

How long should I stay indoors?

The period of self-quarantine is 10 days, but if you arrange to get tested at the Municipal Health Service (GGD) on the 5th day you may end quarantine upon a negative result. Please check all the rules here.

But I thought cultural professionals are exempted from the self-quarantine obligation?

Yes, there is an exemption in place for cultural and creative professionals that are advised or obliged to self-quarantine. Please note that the scope of this exemption is limited to individuals:

Taking part in professional cultural activities.

  • This is applicable to individuals that travel from or to the Netherlands to participate in activities at cultural and creative institutions or organisations that receive a multiyear grant from the 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 of 2017-2020 or 2021-2024, to which professionals regardless of nationality make a necessary contribution, at the invitation of the Dutch cultural or creative institution.
  • These professionals’ personal physical presence and participation is essential to the organisation’s overall ability to conduct its activities.
What does this mean?

When reading the text closely you recognise that not all cultural and creative professionals can invoke this exception. To qualify the inviting cultural or creative organisation needs to be funded structurally either through the Basisinfrastructuur (BIS) or receive a multiyear grant from one of the six national cultural funds. Professionals that are invited to participate in projects that get funded by these funds on an ad hoc basis are excluded from invoking this exemption, unfortunately.

The inviting organisation furthermore needs to explain why the presence and participation of the professional is indispensable for the overall continuity of its activities. Or in other words, would the absence of the professional in question mean that the cultural organisation’s planned activities were to be postponed or even cancelled? The travelling professional should be more or less vital for the organisation's activities.

What should an invitation letter include?

The travelling cultural or creative professional should be able to show an invitation letter or declaration written by the Dutch cultural or creative organisation. The letter should be written on the organisation’s official letterhead and include:

  • the date of the activities (both repetitions and stage dates for example) for which the professional is invited;
  • a declaration that the organisation receives structural funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science or one of the six sector-specific cultural funds; and,
  • an argument why the professional’s presence and participation is needed.

More information about this and other exemptions can be found here (only in Dutch). For further questions on mobility and the coronavirus, please contact DutchCulture’s Mobility Info Point.