Welcome back to Schiphol: How can you maintain distance at security?

Safety is top priority at Schiphol. That’s why every traveller must go through the security check. It was already quite a challenge under normal circumstances: placing your belongings in the trays, taking your jacket off, putting liquids in a 1 litre plastic bag and going through the security scan. And now you have another task: staying 1.5 metres away from everyone else.

Which measures are in place to help me maintain this distance of 1.5 metres?

From the start of the queue to the moment your belongings are checked and approved, we help you to keep 1.5 metres apart. This is how:

  • Markings and stickers on the floor show you where to stand. So, look down when you are standing in the queue, putting your hand baggage in the trays, waiting for the scan and collecting your hand baggage again. Standing on one of these stickers means you are on the right spot and maintaining the correct distance of 1.5 metres.

  • We’ve put up transparent screens between you and the security staff. You’ll also see these at the check in desks and at the tills in shops.

  • We let you know when it’s your turn using digital screens. The number on the screen turns green and indicates where you can go to put your hand baggage in a tray. This way, you won’t be standing there with too many people and you’ll be able to stay far enough apart.

  • Clean trays in which you can place your hand baggage are always available. We clean these trays straight after use.

  • If something shows up on the scan, security staff are legally required to search you. In this case, maintaining 1.5 metres distance is not possible. Our staff wear gloves and face masks throughout this procedure.

  • You’ll see various hand sanitisers after security. Feel free to disinfect your hands with them.

Do I have to wear a face mask while at security?

Yes, wearing a face mask at security is mandatory. This is because new travellers continue to arrive and so keeping your distance becomes rather difficult. We do everything we can to help you maintain 1.5 metres distance during the security check. The face masks ensure you are even better protected.

When will I be searched?

During the security check you go through a scan. You stand still for 3 seconds while you are scanned by a special machine. If the computer finds something, you will be searched right away. At least that’s what usually happens. Things are currently a bit different. Now, you’re allowed to go back and, for example, put those house keys you had forgotten about in the tray. If the scan picks up on something again, then a member of the security staff will search you as an extra precaution. This person will also be wearing a face mask, as well as gloves, and they will keep to your side as much as possible in order to avoid face-to-face contact.

What can I do to make the process go smoothly?

For an effortless security check, make sure you are not carrying anything on you (watch, keys, phone etc.). Place any loose items in the trays that go through the hand baggage scan or in your hand baggage. Doing so means that you avoid having to go through the security scan again or being searched unnecessarily. And you’ll go through security faster.

In short: the way in which the security check is set up should easily allow you to keep 1.5 metres distance. How it happens in practice is a joint effort. Everyone should take responsibility for themselves and, if necessary, kindly remind other people to keep their distance. We want you to have a pleasant security check experience. In times like these too.

Read our other blogs about the measures

  • Do I have to wear a face mask at Schiphol?

    We kindly request that you wear a face mask from the moment you arrive at Schiphol to when you get to the plane, or from the moment you disembark to when you are outside again.

  • Do I need a health declaration?

    Your health and that of your fellow travellers is what we consider to be the most important thing. That is why we ask every traveller to complete a health declaration and bring it along.

  • Can I wave goodbye or welcome someone inside?

    We ask you to say goodbye outside, or to greet each other in the car park. So we have enough space in the departure and arrival halls for travellers to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

  • Which measures can I expect?

    There are fewer travellers this summer but we have to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres, which can mean that it can actually seem busier. How can we give each other enough space?

  • When do I need to go into quarantine?

    The Dutch government strongly advises people returning from countries that have been given a red or orange colour code to go into quarantine for ten days.