Tuesday 11 August 2020

Corona law to be watered down after criticism of draconian measures

Photo: Dutchnews.nl

The government is expected to water down its fast-tracked coronavirus law after critics said the measures were too intrusive.

The tracking and tracing app is likely to be dropped from the bill altogether, sources have told AD, although the software will still be developed under the name CoronaMelder.

The app is designed to help local health boards trace people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients so they can be alerted and isolated. A trial involving several hundred people in the Twente region is due to start in the next few days.

Plans to give police powers to enter people’s homes to enforce the restrictions where they suspect people are not observing them are also likely to be dropped.

The duration of the law is also expected to be shortened from a year to six months. The bill was originally due to be put to a vote in parliament on July 1, but was delayed after criticism from MPs, the Council of State and others.

The Dutch Order of Advocates (NVA) said the proposed law violated citizens’ constitutional rights and warned of ‘arbitrary’ fines being imposed because the rules were not clearly defined.

Since the start of July around 350,000 people have signed a petition against the law, which organisers say ‘violate our basic rights, our privacy, our freedom and our human rights’.

The revised bill is expected to be presented to parliament on Friday.

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