You have to pay: Netherlands against free PCR tests when travelling

As part of the aim to see travel between EU countries resume this summer, the EU Commission has proposed that compulsory PCR tests before travel should be free. But don’t get too excited, the Netherlands is not in favour.

With holiday travel becoming possible again on May 15, many unvaccinated people will be required to take a PCR test before hopping on a plane and hitting the beaches. A commercial PCR test will oftentimes set you back over €100.

Take all this into account and the Netherlands’ decision certainly seems out of character for the bargain-hunting Dutch — but when a company’s profits are at stake, it’s a different story.

Not profitable

Rasmus Emmelkamp, ​​director of, tells radio station BNR that a free test is not profitable for commercial testers. “Such a test is already quite expensive. After it has been taken, it must be transported to a laboratory and we must secure the data” he explains. “We are in favor of the cheapest possible test, but as far as we are concerned, if it is free — it’s unattainable.”

No power to veto

As a result, the Netherlands is against the EU Commission’s proposal. However, if the majority of EU member states votes in favour of this proposal, the Netherlands will be obliged to follow suit.

This means that the Netherlands would either have to subsidise commercial testing, or, the GGD — which carries out free testing — will have to register their tests with a name. Currently, GGD tests do not have a specific name and therefore are not valid for use when it comes to using the result as a ticket to travel.

GroenLinks MEP, Tineke Strik, is in favour of using GGD tests for travel. “On the market, a test is easily €100, so it can really be a barrier, especially if you have to travel with a family and have a test done more often,” she tells the NOS Radio 1 Journaal.

What are your thoughts on the Netherlands’ stance? Tell us in the comments below!

Image: ©Geber86/

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.


  1. I think that if you need a test because you aren’t yet eligible for a vaccine, then your test should be subsidised, in order to maintain equality among citizens. if, on the other hand, you aren’t vaccinated by choice, then you should pay for your test.

  2. In Greece it’s 60€. I don’t understand why it’s the double price in the Netherlands. It must be free.

  3. Nothing is for free. If “government pays” I means that these amounts will be taken from taxes. So, there is a family with mother, father and 3 kids and mother is not working and there is a family of 2 guys, both working. Guys pay more taxes and for them “government” will pay 200 eur for 2 tests. For the big family “government” will pay 500 eur. Going for a holiday to another country is not a basic need. It’s not education, food or place to live. If something isn’t affordable, it’s not affordable period.

    • pls go to america and live your capitalistic american dream there. people care about basic rights and needs and try to think about EVERY person in the generation not only the 1%. 100 euros is an abomination


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