Wednesday 10 August 2022

Dutch halt plans to introduce 2G law ‘pending further research’

The Dutch government has decided not to press ahead with plans to introduce a 2G system for access to cafes and events, pending further research, health minister Ernst Kuipers has told MPs.

Under 2G, only people who have been fully vaccinated or have very recently had coronavirus, would qualify for a coronavirus pass to some locations.

The plan was first mooted last year but there is no majority in parliament in support, and the coalition ChristenUnie are opposed. MPs will also vote on a motion calling for draft legislation paving the way for the introduction of 2G to be scrapped later today.

Kuipers told MPs on Tuesday that there are still many questions around the use of 2G which need to be answered, including under what specific circumstances it could be introduced.

The measure must be ‘in proportion’, he said.

Researchers at Delft University said last year that the introduction of a 2G or 3G system will not have much of an impact on the current surge in coronavirus cases.

‘In the 2G concept, it is assumed that people who have not been vaccinated would then have fewer risky contacts, but that is not always the case,’ research lead Niek Mouter said. This, he said, means that the reduction in the infection rate in a 2G situation may well be less than 10% in practice.

Kuipers told MPs that this small difference in the effectiveness of 2G and 3G is so minor that ‘there is no need for the rapid introduction of a scheme’ to introduce it.

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