US citizens OK to fly to France via Netherlands?

Old Jun 19, 20, 5:42 pm
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US citizens OK to fly to France via Netherlands?

Assuming airlines use Timatic to determine whether and where passengers can fly, it appears that US citizens are permitted (or at least not prohibited) to fly from the United States to France via the Netherlands.

The 5/26, (most recent), Timatic states passengers aren't allowed to enter the Netherlands, then several exceptions, including:
"This does not apply to passengers in transit."


For France, it states "Passengers arriving from a non-Schengen Member State are not allowed to enter." and does not address the nationality of passengers permitted/prohibited.

The French travel certificate certificate previously required for entry from third countries does not need to be completed for flights from EU countries.

https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm


So, if timatic is the final arbiter of who can fly from US to France, it seems it would be possible for US Citizens to fly to France.

Of course there may be entry regulations once a US citizen arrives in France that may prohibit him/her from entering, but by a plain reading of the current published rules that airlines use, what indication is there that US citizens are prohibited from traveling to France via the Netherlands?
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Old Jun 19, 20, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
So, if timatic is the final arbiter of who can fly from US to France, it seems it would be possible for US Citizens to fly to France.
No, it does not.

Yes - you will be transiting at AMS. But the fact is because the connection flight will be a Schengen flight, you will have to clear immigration and customs at AMS. That constitutes you entering the Netherlands.

The transit exception, IIRC, means non-Schengen transit only, like JFK-AMS-ARN (Note - not sure if this route actually operates now, but it is just an example).
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Last edited by garykung; Jun 19, 20 at 7:25 pm
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Old Jun 19, 20, 8:40 pm
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GK is right.
The way things are going, I personally wouldn't bother booking a flight departing the US before Dec at the earliest.

Last edited by Msafiritx; Jun 19, 20 at 8:40 pm Reason: grammar
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Old Jun 19, 20, 10:34 pm
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TIMATIC has a difficult time to keep up and its information is often misleading.

The situation fro France is very confusing.
I have not been able to find any official instructions or "decret" since the 13 June press release by the ministers of interior and foreign affairs:
https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actual...s-de-la-France

TIMATIC is inconsistent with the press release that never makes reference to Schengen, but to EU+..UK pax are allowed to enter France contrary to TIMATIC claim.

What is confusing in the press release is the word "arriving" ("en provenance).
If any one has a link to an official instruction rather than the press release, that would be GREAT.

In any case, the spirit seems clear. Pax from outside EU+ can only enter if they are nationals of EU+.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 5:28 am
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The US hasnít even opened up to Europeans, where the infection rates are hugely lower, so it will be a long time before Europe will risk opening up to people from the USA.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
Of course there may be entry regulations once a US citizen arrives in France that may prohibit him/her from entering, but by a plain reading of the current published rules that airlines use, what indication is there that US citizens are prohibited from traveling to France via the Netherlands?
It doesn't matter what route you take, i.e. direct non-stop; a single transfer; or as many transfers as you physically can force on to the ticket; the Schengen states are currently closed to US citizens travelling for non-essential purposes.

You will be turned away at whatever point you attempt to enter the Schengen zone, whether as your final destination (i.e. attempting to fly direct US-France) or whether as a transfer point (i.e. US-AMS-CDG; you will be turned away at AMS)

You may transfer at AMS only when you are en-route to other non-Schengen states, i.e. US-AMS-UK, as in these cases you do not need to enter Schengen.

You cannot "transfer" at AMS if that "transfer" involves entering the Schengen zone - and taking a flight to France or any other Schengen state involves entering the Schengen zone.

France only allowed non-essential entry to EU nationals (excluding Spain and the UK, which though no longer an EU member state is still in the Brexit transition period) earlier this week; it will take a little while more before 3rd country nationals will be allowed non-essential entry to France. It could take some considerable time yet before the US and EU relax their bans on each other's citizens, so keep that in mind.

Last edited by irishguy28; Jun 20, 20 at 6:30 am
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Old Jun 20, 20, 6:52 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
No, it does not.

Yes - you will be transiting at AMS. But the fact is because the connection flight will be a Schengen flight, you will have to clear immigration and customs at AMS. That constitutes you entering the Netherlands.

The transit exception, IIRC, means non-Schengen transit only, like JFK-AMS-ARN (Note - not sure if this route actually operates now, but it is just an example).
Is this right? Sweden is part of the EU and also Schengen, so I don't think JFK-AMS-ARN would be any different than JFK-AMS-CDG. I think the transit exception is for non-Schengen to non-Schengen (e.g., JFK-AMS-IST).

IATA has a personalized travel planner where you plug in all your info (travel dates, routing, nationality, etc.), and that will be more tailored than just looking at the restrictions listed in the interactive map.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
Is this right? Sweden is part of the EU and also Schengen, so I don't think JFK-AMS-ARN would be any different than JFK-AMS-CDG. I think the transit exception is for non-Schengen to non-Schengen (e.g., JFK-AMS-IST).

IATA has a personalized travel planner where you plug in all your info (travel dates, routing, nationality, etc.), and that will be more tailored than just looking at the restrictions listed in the interactive map.
Sweden is part of Schengen. A better example for airside transit would be JFK-AMS-LHR or JFK-AMS-DUB.
I'm not sure with the current regulation though - Sweden is an exception nowaday. Almost all EU countries reopened their borders, but they're still blacklisting the Swedes.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
The transit exception, IIRC, means non-Schengen transit only, like JFK-AMS-ARN (Note - not sure if this route actually operates now, but it is just an example).
As others have noted, Sweden/ARN is in Schengen. This transit is not open to 3rd country nationals without an essential purpose for entering the Schengen zone.

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Old Jun 20, 20, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
So, if timatic is the final arbiter of who can fly from US to France, it seems it would be possible for US Citizens to fly to France.
If you fill out Timatic correctly, showing that you are departing from the US, transiting in NL, and arriving in FR, it will tell you that you are not allowed to travel.

There is no point consulting Timatic if you do not characterise your journey correctly.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
If you fill out Timatic correctly, showing that you are departing from the US, transiting in NL, and arriving in FR, it will tell you that you are not allowed to travel.

There is no point consulting Timatic if you do not characterise your journey correctly.
Thanks! I appreciate the education!

I was just using the interactive map, https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/int...1580226297.htm, where it says:

Netherlands
Published 26.05.2020
1. Passengers are not allowed to enter the Netherlands.
-This does not apply when arriving from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or United Kingdom.
-This does not apply to nationals of EEA Member States and Switzerland.
-This does not apply to British Nationals.
-This does not apply to nationals of Andorra, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia (Rep.), San Marino, Serbia and Vatican City (Holy See) when they transit through Netherlands to return to their country of residence.
-This does not apply to passengers with a residence permit issued to long term residents of EEA Member States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
-This does not apply to passengers with a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (Machtiging Voor Voorlopig Verblijf - MVV).
-This does not apply to passengers in transit.
-This does not apply to :
- family members of nationals of Switzerland, EEA Member States and of British nationals;
- healthcare personnel;
- frontier workers;
- transport of goods personnel;
- diplomats;
- personnel of international and humanitarian organizations,
- military personnel;
- passengers traveling for emergency family reasons;
- passengers in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
2. A completed 'Health Declaration Form' for passengers departing from high risk Coronavirus (COVID-19) countries must be presented prior to boarding any aircraft with destination the Netherlands.
3. Passengers departing from high risk Coronavirus (COVID-19) countries are instructed to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

And I now understand that since you'd be entering the country during your connection, that a passenger would not be considered to be "in transit", and thus that exemption would not apply.

When reading this,it appears as though if you flew from US-UK (which I believe a US Citizen can do with no issues(?)), you could then fly to the Netherlands?

I'm curious as to what, exactly, a gate agent refers to when determining if a passenger can board.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 11:55 am
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Although primarily dedicated to EU+ travelers, and although it does not replace governmental advice, I'd like to mention this website made by the EU that tries to simplify the current complexity of travel rules:

https://reopen.europa.eu

For instance on the page 'Netherlands' if you click on 'travel' then on the (currently red) world icon on the right, you can read:

As a third-country national coming from outside the EU and Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, may I enter this country without exceptional restrictions? NO

NOThe Dutch government has adopted the decision of the EU to tighten the entry conditions of persons wishing to travel to the Netherlands from third countries, until 30 June 2020.
And on the green transit icon,

May I transit this country? YES

Travellers from EU and Schengen countries can transit in the Netherlands. Dutch advice and rules to combat the spread of COVID-19 must be followed. With a travel ticket to a third country, it is possible to transit via Schiphol (main airport) directly to a third country.
Third-country being non-EU/Schengen if I understand correctly, and as such confirms what other posters mentioned.
​​​​​

Last edited by AlvinMaker; Jun 20, 20 at 12:04 pm
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Old Jun 20, 20, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
Thanks! I appreciate the education!

I was just using the interactive map, https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/int...1580226297.htm, where it says:

Netherlands
Published 26.05.2020
1. Passengers are not allowed to enter the Netherlands.
-This does not apply when arriving from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or United Kingdom.
-This does not apply to nationals of EEA Member States and Switzerland.
-This does not apply to British Nationals.
-This does not apply to nationals of Andorra, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia (Rep.), San Marino, Serbia and Vatican City (Holy See) when they transit through Netherlands to return to their country of residence.
-This does not apply to passengers with a residence permit issued to long term residents of EEA Member States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
-This does not apply to passengers with a long-stay visa, including persons with a temporary residence permit (Machtiging Voor Voorlopig Verblijf - MVV).
-This does not apply to passengers in transit.
-This does not apply to :
- family members of nationals of Switzerland, EEA Member States and of British nationals;
- healthcare personnel;
- frontier workers;
- transport of goods personnel;
- diplomats;
- personnel of international and humanitarian organizations,
- military personnel;
- passengers traveling for emergency family reasons;
- passengers in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
2. A completed 'Health Declaration Form' for passengers departing from high risk Coronavirus (COVID-19) countries must be presented prior to boarding any aircraft with destination the Netherlands.
3. Passengers departing from high risk Coronavirus (COVID-19) countries are instructed to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

And I now understand that since you'd be entering the country during your connection, that a passenger would not be considered to be "in transit", and thus that exemption would not apply.

When reading this,it appears as though if you flew from US-UK (which I believe a US Citizen can do with no issues(?)), you could then fly to the Netherlands?

I'm curious as to what, exactly, a gate agent refers to when determining if a passenger can board.
You can fly US-UK. I'm not sure I'd say "with no issues" because you still have a 2 week quarantine to contend with if you stay in the UK. And you can't then fly onward to the Netherlands because you will have the same problem entering Schengen on a US passport.

I believe most airlines rely on Timatic. They enter all the relevant information to determine applicable restrictions, as irishguy28 illustrated above.

How does this work with US citizens traveling with EU family members though? We have some friends who are flying from the US to Germany next week (via AMS). Husband has a US passport and I believe the wife is a dual citizen (US/German). Timatic doesn't seem to account for family member status, but I assume you can enter Holland on a US passport if you're traveling with an EU family member? They seem pretty sure it will work out, but I never looked into it.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
it will be a long time before Europe will risk opening up to people from the USA.
Are you a government minister? If not, we don't really need your opinion since it's not worth anything. Still no release of who will be allowed July 1. It's possible Americans will be.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
Is this right? Sweden is part of the EU and also Schengen, so I don't think JFK-AMS-ARN would be any different than JFK-AMS-CDG. I think the transit exception is for non-Schengen to non-Schengen (e.g., JFK-AMS-IST).
Originally Posted by sch7458 View Post
Sweden is part of Schengen. A better example for airside transit would be JFK-AMS-LHR or JFK-AMS-DUB.
I'm not sure with the current regulation though - Sweden is an exception nowaday. Almost all EU countries reopened their borders, but they're still blacklisting the Swedes.
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
As others have noted, Sweden/ARN is in Schengen.
Thanks for pointing out. Did not realize the Scandinavians are also part of the Schengen when thinking about examples.

Originally Posted by jchock1 View Post
When reading this,it appears as though if you flew from US-UK (which I believe a US Citizen can do with no issues(?)), you could then fly to the Netherlands?
No, as you still have not escape the Schengen/non-Schengen dilemma.

Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Are you a government minister? If not, we don't really need your opinion since it's not worth anything. Still no release of who will be allowed July 1. It's possible Americans will be.
I don't believe a government minister actually know anything. So if the opinion is not destructive in nature and aligns with the current situation, I don't think it is harm to listen.
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