Dutch government ignores EU advice for vaccinated people
The EU health agency, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), has issued advice to all member states, arguing that if a group of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 meet, they do not need to stick to the basic coronavirus rules. However, the Dutch government has decided to ignore this advice for the time being.
EU agency says vaccinees can meet freely without masks or distancing
According to the ECDC, those who are fully vaccinated do not have to keep distance or wear face masks when in the presence of others who are also vaccinated. Furthermore, the ECDC states that when fully vaccinated young and middle-aged adults meet unvaccinated people, masks and physical distancing are also unnecessary, unless one of the people present is vulnerable or at risk.
In addition to this, they advise that, after travelling abroad, vaccinated people should not be required to present a quarantine statement or proof of a recent negative coronavirus test unless they have been to a country with a new, more dangerous variant.
“While relaxation of the protection measures must be done gradually and based on careful assessments of the risks involved, we are confident that increased vaccination coverage will have a positive and direct impact towards returning to normal lives,” said Andrea Ammon, ECDC Director.
The Netherlands asks whole population to adhere to the basic rules
In spite of the recent change to official advice, the Netherlands has decided to stick to the original advice, asking those who are (fully) vaccinated to continue to follow all the coronavirus measures currently in place.
The Ministry of Health has said they are looking into the advice, but feel it is “undesirable” to make a distinction between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. “At the moment, we know that vaccinees are well protected against disease and death from the virus, but it is not yet completely certain that people will no longer be able to infect others with the virus after vaccination,” explained a spokesperson.
Members of the population who are vaccinated are therefore required to wear masks, wash their hands as much as possible, and maintain 1,5-metre distance from others. The government has not yet indicated when these so-called basic rules will be lifted.