NL opposes European parliament’s plan for free coronavirus tests
The Netherlands is opposed to the European parliament’s wish to make compulsory PCR coronavirus tests free of charge for travellers to other EU countries, a health ministry spokesman confirmed to DutchNews.nl.
‘Various countries, including the Netherlands, say that the costs for people who want to have a test to go on holiday should not be paid by society in general,’ the spokesman said.
The European Commission issued its plans in March, calling for a Digital Green Certificate which will include vaccination certificates, test certificates and certificates for persons who have recovered from coronavirus. But the Commission has not proposed that tests be free, as has been reported.
That proposal came from the European parliament which said in its reaction to the Digital Green Certificate plan that EU countries should ‘ensure universal, accessible, timely and free of charge testing’. This, MEPs said, is necessary to avoid discriminating against people who don’t want a vaccine and for economic reasons.
The plan for free tests, which GroenLinks MEP Tineke Strik told DutchNews.nl is broadly supported within the European parliament, will be discussed with the Council of Ministers shortly.
The aim is to have the proposal approved by June 1.
Dit is meer dan een centenkwestie.
Gevaccineerden zullen deze reistest – terecht – vaak niet hoeven doen. Maar dan moet er geen boete staan op feit dat je nog niet aan de beurt bent geweest of je niet wilt laten vaccineren.
Kabinet, stop met dwarsliggen. https://t.co/iHGAialnfZ
— Jan Paternotte (@jpaternotte) May 14, 2021
A Commission spokesperson told Euronews that member states should establish measures to make the certificate available and affordable, but added the question of prices and reimbursement is up to national authorities.
The Dutch government spokesman did not respond to DutchNews.nl’s question about possible curbs on testing prices. Commercial test centres in the Netherlands cost around €80, which would add hundreds of euros to the price of a family holiday.
Some tour operators, such as TUI, Sunweb and Corendon, are offering customers a discount on a commercial coronavirus test.
BNR radio reported earlier on Friday afternoon that the Netherlands fears commercial testing companies will lose out if compulsory testing is free because their earnings model will disappear.
The broadcaster said it based its claim on comments from MEPs.
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