The Dutch Government has issued additional travel restrictions in the fight to protect its citizens from new variants of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

As part of the announcement, a ban is already in place on flights from countries, including the UK, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The measure is expected to remain in force for a month or until the introduction of legislation on mandatory passenger quarantine rules.

The new restriction also requires every passenger flying to the Netherlands to take a rapid antigen test. This came above the existing requirement for a PCR-test conducted within 72 hours of departure.

The government in a statement said: “Every journey a person makes increases the chance of causing more infections or of bringing new variants of coronavirus into the Netherlands. For this reason, the government has issued a strict travel advisory: do not travel abroad and do not book any trips abroad in the period up to and including 31 March 2021.”

In addition, passengers arriving in the Netherlands via sea or air are required to show a negative rapid Covid-19 test result. The test must be conducted not over four hours prior to their departure.

This is in addition to the existing testing measures and applies to all travellers to the Caribbean parts of the country.

Following the announcement, flag carrier KLM revealed plans to suspend all its intercontinental flights and some European routes from 22 January 2020.