Tuesday 15 June 2021

MPs back new legislation on entry coronavirus tests and quarantine

Photo: Depositphotos.com

MPs have voted in favour of new legislation which will introduce compulsory quarantine for some travellers and formalise the use of coronavirus tests to visit museums and attend events.

But MPs unanimously rejected the cabinet’s plan to include a €7.50 charge for a test for certain events from July, saying it would add a substantial cost, particularly for families.

The legislation to make the approach possible will last for three months, but health minister Hugo de Jonge has already said this may need to be extended if there is an increase in positive coronavirus tests or if a new mutation hits the Netherlands.

Ministers also agreed with MPs demands that they find out if the results of self tests can be used as evidence for entry to events as well. In addition, proof of vaccination or having had coronavirus will also be included in the app which is currently being worked on.

Despite the MPs support for wider entry requirements, the hospitality industry, museums and cinemas have all said they do not see a future in the government’s plans to open up society by using negative coronavirus tests.

Quarantine

Parliament also agreed that the legal requirement to go into quarantine facing people from high risk countries on arrival in the Netherlands will not apply to people who have been vaccinated, as long as there is enough evidence that they do not risk spreading the virus.

People coming to the Netherlands to see a new baby or to visit a close family member who is dying will also be exempt from quarantine.

And, MPs decided, it will be up to employers who bring in foreign workers to ensure they have a proper location to quarantine in.

Both sets of regulations will now be submitted to the senate for its approval, and commentators say there is majority support in the upper house for both the testing and quarantine rules.

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