New coronavirus measures: a round-up of the official reactions


The cabinet’s plans to widen the use of the coronavirus pass on November 6 have been criticized by sports and fitness groups, but museums say they are already well prepared to cope with the changes. Here’s a round up of the main reactions.

Hospitality sector
The decision to extend the use of passes to café terraces is ‘purely symbolic’, according to hospitality sector organisation KHN. The measure is ‘incomprehensible’, chairman Rober Willemsen said. ‘It will have a major financial impact on our members.’

The hospitality sector has been criticized for failing to properly check passes since they were made compulsory at the end of September.

Gyms and fitness centres
Gyms and fitness club owners told the Parool they are worried about losing clients, now they are being required to check people have a coronavirus pass.

After being closed for so long during the lockdown, many owners think members will cancel now QR code checks are being brought in. ‘I want to help people get fitter, but using the pass is discouraging people from taking part in sport,’ said Charlotte Maris, from the Kracht sports school in Amsterdam.

Museums and botanical gardens
The Dutch museum association, which represents some 400 museums, said it understood the reason for the new measures and would implement them. However, visits to museums were already safe and not one case of coronavirus has yet been traced back to a museum visit,’ a spokesman said.

The Hortus botanical gardens in Amsterdam said it is prepared for using the pass and already does so for its café. ‘I don’t expect many problems,’ director Carlien Blok told the Parool. ‘But now we are being visited by bigger groups, we will have to have more difficult discussions with people.’

Amateur sports clubs
The Dutch Olympic association NOC*NSF and the football association KNVB have both criticized the plans to introduce compulsory coronavirus checks for the over-18s during amateur sports as ‘unworkable’.

Hindering people from taking part in sport will not help us out of the coronavirus crisis, Mark van den Tweel, head of the Olympic association, told broadcaster NOS. ‘This measure will have an impact on the vitality of the Dutch.’

The chairman of the Dutch amateur football association called on MPs to stop ministers from bringing in coronavirus pass checks. Everyone over the age of 18 will have to show their pass for ‘each training session, each match,’ Ben van Olffen told the Parool. ‘No club can keep control of this, and every team has some players who are not vaccinated.’

Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch intensive care association and a member of the government’s Outbreak Management Team, told NPO radio that he had been surprised by the decision to extend use of the pass to amateur sports. ‘I’m not sure we actually discussed it as such,’ he told the programme.

Non essential shops
Retail organisations INretail and the national retail council RND have said their members will cooperate with the reintroduction of masks but are not keen to check coronavirus passes, if the government introduces them for non essential shops next Friday.

‘The Netherlands has 56,000 non-essential shops which serve millions of people a day,’ RND director Eus Peters told news website ‘Checking them all would be completely impossible.’

INretail estimates checking a client will take a minute each, and that would mean ‘five million hours a month in checks,’ a spokesman said.

Booster vaccinations
The national health council Gezondheidsraad has said there is no medicial reason to give booster injections to people under the age of 60. The cabinet plans to allow this next year, when the over 60s have had a third jab.

‘We recommended offering a booster to people with a clear medical need,’ chairman Bart-Jan Kullberg told current affairs show Nieuwsuur. ‘’At the moment, that is the very oldest and the most vulnerable.’

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