Sunday 17 October 2021

Cafes, bars and restaurants are widely ignoring coronavirus checks

A QR code being checked in a cafe. Photo:

Around one third of cafés and restaurants in the Netherlands are not checking customers have a valid coronavirus pass, according to a report by I&O Research, published almost three weeks since compulsory QR codes were introduced.

While QR codes were required in at least 82% of theatres, cinemas and concert halls, just 63% of cafes and 68% of restaurants are checking passes, I&O said. The survey is based on the experiences of a representative sample of 2,300 adults. is aware of several establishments where the rules are being ignored. In Amsterdam, for example, no checks are carried out at the busy FoodHallen complex, which has dozens of food stalls plus a bar. Next door, however, visitors to the cinema do have to show their QR code.

Robèr Willemsen, chairman of hospitality industry body KHN, said in a reaction that he had only heard positive reactions from both local authorities and council wardens. ‘But visitors would appear to experience things differently,’ he said.

The survey also found that people were, on the whole, positive about using the pass and that half of those who are not vaccinated and refuse to be tested are now avoiding going out. But one in five said they visit places where they know they won’t be checked and 2% admit to using someone else’s pass.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge confirmed on Wednesday that the pass system is likely to be used beyond November, when ministers had hoped it could be phased out.

The research also showed that 36% of people on low incomes refused to use a QR code, compared with just 4% to 5% of high earners. Some 86% of the population have downloaded the CoronaCheck app which generates the codes.

If you would like to share your experiences of using the QR code to go out, please contact

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