Thursday 18 August 2022

Leaked coronavirus restrictions: more QR checks and bars to close earlier


QR codes will be required to enter zoos and theme parks, bars and restaurants will have to close earlier and customers will have to stay seated after the government tightens coronavirus restrictions on Friday, according to reports in the Telegraaf.

The newspaper said it had been told by sources that the CoronaCheck pass would not be extended to the workplace or higher education. Other measures, such as making the 1.5 metre rule mandatory again or travel restrictions, are also not thought to be on the cards.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge said new rules were inevitable because of the steep rise in hospital cases, which have gone up by 25% in the last week. There are currently 1,647 coronavirus patients in hospital, including 319 in intensive care, and hospitals in Limburg say they are approaching the point where they have to select patients for treatment.

De Jonge said health providers had to co-ordinate their resources better to make sure beds were available for Covid-19 patients. ‘If the hospitals spread the availability better, there should be more room for coronavirus patients,’ he said.

Microbiologist Andreas Voss, a member of the advisory Outbreak Management Team, said the government needed to look at all options. The OMT is meeting on Wednesday afternoon to decide what measures it should recommend to ministers.

‘I think we need to reopen the drawer containing the measures we had before,’ he said. ‘I’m worried that relying on people’s common sense won’t be enough.’

Voss suggested that introducing the 2G system, meaning only people with proof of vaccination can get into venues, could be one solution. The system has been used in Germany and Austria, both of which set new records for positive coronavirus tests in recent days.

‘I know that 2G works, but if you only have 2G in society you will still get the virus circulating,’ Voss said. ‘But you will have fewer hospital admissions. The only problem with the system is that you exclude people.’

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