Wednesday 12 May 2021

MPs call for more coronavirus testing at airports, as holiday link increases

Photo: Depositphotos.com

MPs from across the political spectrum have called on the government to ramp up coronavirus testing at Dutch airports to make sure everyone arriving from a risky region can be tested on the spot.

At the moment the Schiphol test centre has capacity to deal with just 20% of people arriving from a country with a red or orange risk level. With some 5,000 people a day arriving from Spain, France and other red or orange zone countries, this means just 1,000 tests are being carried out.

In particular, MPs are angry that the test centre is only open from 6am to 6pm. ‘This is not a virus that keeps to office hours,’ GroenLinks MP Suzanne Kroger said.

In addition, testing should be introduced at the country’s regional airports in Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Maastricht, the MPs say.

More people are bringing coronavirus back from holiday abroad. Public health boards found 170 had picked up the virus while abroad in the past week, compared with 113 in the previous seven day period, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.

The paper says it is likely that even more people became infected with coronavirus while on holiday, because health board officials fail to find the source in 70% of new cases.

However, the proportion of people who were abroad in the two weeks preceding their positive test has risen from 18% to 25%.

Spain

In particular 278 people who have been in Spain tested positive for coronavirus in the past week, almost 100 more than in the previous seven day period, the VK said.

On Monday, the government increased its travel risk advisory for all of Spain to code orange, meaning all but essential travel should be avoided. In addition, people returning from code orange areas should go into quarantine for 10 days.

Meanwhile, the public health institute coronavirus dashboard shows there 575 new positive tests in the past 24 hours, with Amsterdam and Rotterdam again accounting for most new cases.

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