Thursday 28 October 2021

‘No coronavirus’ certificate on the cards, as call for relaxation of rules becomes louder

Fast coronavirus tests. Photo: Depositphotos.com

A plan to introduce test certificates so people are cleared to go to the office or visit a restaurant or theatre may be on the cards, as support for the government coronavirus measures declines.

Sources have told the Telegraaf that the cabinet will be considering the plan shortly.

Ingrid Thijsen, chairwoman of employers organisation VNO-NCW, told the paper that the health ministry is working hard to enable more widespread fast testing of people who do not have symptoms. This should lead to the development of a short-term coronavirus-free certificate in the second half of March.

‘This should be included in the road map so people are allowed to do more. The idea is that a negative result will clear the way for more activities in the 48 hours following it,’ Thijssen said.

Economics minister Bas van ‘t Wout confirmed that the cabinet is ‘seriously considering’ which possibilities may open up as a result of more testing but would not be drawn on a date. ‘The virus does not keep to the calendar,’ he said.

Support

Meanwhile support for the government measures to combat coronavirus is declining, a recent I&O survey showed, particularly among the young.

Some 45% of the 2,258 respondents are now in favour of a relaxation of the rules, compared to 21% last month. One in 10 wants a complete end to the lockdown. Only 9%, down from 29%, is in favour of stricter measures.

Young people in particular are feeling the strain, with 56% of 18 to 24 year-olds saying they felt worse than before the coronavirus crisis.

Curfew

Some measures are considered more difficult than others, I&O found, but after three weeks of curfew, eight in 10 still felt the measure is justified. The ‘one guest only’ rule was considered to be much more of a burden.

Confidence the main players in the crisis, such as Outbreak Management Team members Diederik Gommers, Ernst Kuipers and Marion Koopmans, remained strong with two thirds to three quarters of people saying they were trustworthy.

However, confidence overall had gone down, particularly in the regional health boards. Trust in the government as a whole dropped from 67% to 52%. However, confidence in prime minister Mark Rutte was barely dented. Some 63% still trust him to do the right thing, I&O found.

Ministers are due to decide next week if the current strict lockdown conditions can be relaxed from March 2. They have already said that reopening schools is a priority.

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