Tuesday 03 August 2021

Coronavirus press conference tonight, ‘test for entry’ system may be dropped

People waiting for a ‘test for entry’ test on Friday. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Hugo de Jonge will hold a press conference at 7pm on Friday to announce what measures are being taken to control the spread of coronavirus following a six-fold increase in a week.

The new measures are needed because several million people have still not been fully vaccinated and the infection rate has now soared back to mid May levels, officials say.

Sources told broadcaster NOS that cafes and bars and clubs may have to close at midnight again and that the ‘test for entry’ system, which had allowed nightclubs to reopen and ignore social distancing, will be put on hold for all but seated events.

Multi-day events at which 1.5 metre social distancing will not be possible will be cancelled and officials are also considering a 1,000 limit on outdoor events and a 500 person limit indoors.

This, according to RTL, would mean festivals such as Lowlands, Down The Rabbit Hole, Mysteryland, Into the Great Wide Open and Paaspop will all be cancelled for the second year running.

There is mounting concern that the rise in infections in the Netherlands will again jeopardise foreign travel plans and that people from the Netherlands will be forced to quarantine abroad, even if they have been vaccinated.  The holidays start in the north of the country on Friday.

DutchNews.nl will carry a live Twitter feed from the press conference, as usual.

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