Saturday 01 April 2023

More than half a million have a free coronavirus test in run up to stricter rules

A sign on a test for entry centre in Amsterdam. Photo:

A record 534,000 coronavirus tests were booked as part of the ‘test for entry’ scheme over the past week, the foundation running the programme said on Monday.

Most appointments were made on Friday (123,000) and Saturday (173,000), ahead of the wider introduction of coronavirus passes, the SON foundation said.

Around half the people getting tested said they planned to visit a restaurant, café or club, while 5% were planning to take part in some form of sports.

Since Saturday, the passes have been required on café terraces, in museums, gyms, sports clubs and at swimming pools. The QR code was previously on a requirement indoors at cafes and restaurants, in theatres, cinemas and football stadiums.

The QR code shows if someone has either been fully vaccinated, has had a very recent negative coronavirus test, or had coronavirus within the past six months.

The tests themselves are free.

The SON figures cover appointments, rather than actual tests, but the foundation says around 88% of planned tests do go ahead. SON did not say how many people had tested positive.

Nearly five million tests have been carried out at 680 locations nationwide since testing was introduced before the summer.

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