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Dutch government to use rapid coronavirus tests to reopen society

Dutch government to use rapid coronavirus tests to reopen society

Dutch government to use rapid coronavirus tests to reopen society

The Dutch government has announced that later this month, trials will be taking place across the Netherlands which will grant members of the public access to events and public spaces, such as museums and zoos, if they can provide proof of a recent negative rapid test result.

Dutch government to use coronavirus tests to reopen the Netherlands

Anyone who has a ticket for an event or venue will be able to book an appointment for a coronavirus test via testenvoortoegang.nl. They will receive their results by email within one hour of being tested. For the time being, the public will not be expected to pay for the tests. 

If the result is negative, they’ll receive a code that can be converted into a text certificate via the CoronaCheck app. The certificate will be valid for 40 hours, allowing the person to attend any event within that time frame. If the result is positive, however, they will have to report to the GGD for source and contact tracing. 

More coronavirus-proof Fieldlab events planned over the coming weeks

The government’s trials will see museums, casinos and zoos across the Netherlands open for a limited number of visitors, while 425 people will be admitted to performances at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. 4.000 spectators will be present at the FC Groningen - PSV premier league match in Eindhoven, and 5.000 people will be welcomed at Keukenhof and Artis. 

The trial will also see several Fieldlab events take place. Up until now, the events organisation has overseen festivals and music events, as well as a business conference and the temporary reopening of a handful of bars in Utrecht. The latest events will see Efteling open its doors to 8.000 visitors, and the 3FM Awards have a live audience of 1.500 people. 

Anyone present at one of the trial events or locations will also be expected to adhere to the coronavirus measures enforced by the government: wear a mask when necessary and maintain 1,5-metre distance from others. A full list of the participating locations and events can be found on the Dutch government’s website.

Catering industry doesn't want tests to be used to reopen restaurants

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) was pleased to hear that spectators would once again be allowed at matches at the end of April: “This is a very nice new step: for the first time we have spectators in the stands at all matches during a round of play.” Fans, on the other hand, aren’t entirely convinced. “It all seems very positive. But it is a pity that there are so many unanswered questions now,” said Harrie Timmermans, chairman of the PSV Supporters Association.

The catering industry has also said that, while it is pleased to hear the government is taking steps to safely reopen society, so-called access tests should not be a condition for the reopening of restaurants, bars and cafes: “[Testing] should not stand in the way of vigorous vaccination, adhering to the basic rules and the will to resume normal life,” said Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, the largest union representing hospitality businesses in the Netherlands.

Victoria Séveno

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Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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