Wednesday 21 April 2021

Vaccination passports not a Dutch priority, amid discrimination fears

Photo: SELF Magazine

Sources in The Hague suggest that the Dutch government is shying away from sanctioning a ‘vaccination passport’ as a means of relaxing some of the coronavirus measures, the Parool reported on Friday.

Both prime minister Mark Rutte and finance minister Wopke Hoekstra dismissed the plan in last Sunday’s election debate and insiders suggest it will be April at least before a decision is taken, the paper said.

‘Bringing in a vaccination passport is simply not cabinet policy,’ one source said. ‘I don’t expect there to movement until April, when far more people have been vaccinated,’ said another.

In Brussels, a European vaccination passport is already being developed, with one eye on the summer holidays. ‘But although we won’t block Brussels’ efforts, I hear that diplomatically we are really in the background on this,’ the source told the paper.

Earlier this week, Kim Putters, director of the government’s socio-cultural policy think-tank SCP said that it was not advisable to create inequality between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

‘It is the government’s job to ensure that one group’s progress towards greater freedom does not create jealousy in the other,’ he said. ‘We should not end up scapegoating.’

The Dutch health council warned last month that refusing admittance to a festival or theatre on the basis of not being vaccinated could lead to illegal exclusion and discrimination. There are also privacy implications, the council pointed out.

D66 leader Sigrid Kaag said during the party’s conference last Saturday that a vaccination certificate coupled with far more testing would enable people to do more without the coronavirus restrictions.

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