UPDATE: EU travel exemptions for cultural professionals

UPDATE: EU travel exemptions for cultural professionals

Working together with an artist from abroad? The exemption to the EU travel ban for the cultural sector resumes on 16 March 2021.
By Laurens Meijer

On 8 March 2021, the Dutch government announced that the exemption on the European travel ban for cultural professionals will be continued as of 16 March 2021: 

"An entry ban is in place for people travelling from outside the EU. A number of exemption categories had temporarily been removed from the list, but have now been added again. People in the following categories are allowed to enter the Netherlands for a short period again: business travellers, students, highly-skilled migrants, professionals from the cultural and creative sectors and people in long-distance romantic relationships."

This means that cultural professionals from outside the EU can start applying again for permission to enter the Netherlands for cultural purposes with Fonds Podiumkunsten.

On 20 January 2021 the Dutch government announced additional measures to prevent the spread of the UK variant of the coronavirus. As a result of stricter measures, the exemption on the European travel ban for professionals working in the cultural and creative sector was suspended temporarily. This meant that these professionals were no longer granted entry starting on 23 January 2021 at 00:01 AM (CEST). Fortunately, this restriction for cultural professionals is now lifted.

The European travel ban and the exemptions

Since 18 March 2020, an entry ban is enforced by the European Union and the Netherlands. This means that non-EU citizens are not allowed to enter the EU. This travel ban is not applicable to EU-citizens (and their core non-EU family members) that are returning to the EU. This travel ban is also not applicable to a select number of non-EU citizens with a nationaly of a country with a low infection rate. The list of countries is frequently updated on this EU website. If you are living in one of these countries but do not have the nationality of the country, you might also be allowed to enter the EU. Visa requirements continue to apply.

Do I need to self-quarantine upon arrival?

If you are allowed entry into the Netherlands, you might have to self-quarantine for 10 days upon your arrival. 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 can be found here. For further questions on mobility and the coronavirus, please contact DutchCulture’s Mobility Info Point.