Dutch government offers free self-tests to all households
Free self-tests for every household in the Netherlands
In an effort to encourage more members of the public to test themselves before going out and mingling with (large) groups of people, the Dutch government will provide every household in the Netherlands with two free coronavirus self-tests.
On Tuesday, all households will receive a letter with a code that will allow them to place an order for their free tests online. The tests will then be delivered to their home address within a week and a half. Between August 10 and September 1, the government plans that eight million households across the Netherlands will be invited to order free tests.
This move is the latest in a series of government initiatives to encourage wide-scale and regular testing. Students and teaching staff across the country are already eligible to receive free coronavirus tests on a regular basis, and will all receive a testing kit before the end of the summer holidays and the start of the next academic year. GGD employees are also handing out free tests at a number of Dutch airports, and the government has donated a number of self-tests to the Dutch Food Bank and the Poverty Fund (Armoedefonds).
Dutch government encourages use of rapid self-tests
The government points out the importance of getting tested “before people visit places where large groups of people gather, such as at school or work,” and emphasise that, while self-tests are extremely useful for preventing the spread of COVID-19, they should only be used if someone isn’t showing any symptoms. Someone showing symptoms of coronavirus should book a test with the GGD as soon as possible.
“I hope that many people will test themselves in the near future before meeting many other people,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge says. “Doing a self-test is a small effort. But by testing, we reduce the chance that we inadvertently take corona to family, work or school, and we prevent infections from becoming hotspots.”