Wednesday 30 November 2022

Long-term coronavirus strategy ‘will be based on personal responsibility’


The government’s long term strategy to deal with coronavirus will be based on taking personal responsibility, and that could lead to regional health board testing stations being closed down, the Telegraaf reported on Friday.

The plan may be presented to the public as early as next week, and sources have told the Telegraaf that ministers expect citizens to take steps themselves to not become infected with the virus. This is because after two years, the basic rules have become well established, the sources said.

Rather than a top down strategy, in which the government steps in and imposes lockdowns, it will be up to people to protect themselves and to make sure they do not infect others, the sources say.

This means proper ventilation, wearing masks where necessary and not all sitting inside a bar in winter, the paper said. In addition, companies will be expected to protect their staff, for instance by not insisting people come to work even if they have symptoms.

The government’s financial support for companies hit by coronavirus ends on April 1 and may not be repeated, the paper said. This is because of a growing awareness in the cabinet that the support has propped up companies which were already doomed to fail.

The regional testing centres will also be closed, and people may be able to have a formal test via their family doctor if needed for official purposes, such as travel passes.

The strategy, which is currently being finalised, is part of health minister Ernst Kuipers’ new approach to the pandemic.

He has already made it clear that eliminating risk should no longer be the primary goal of policy towards coronavirus. Instead, keeping society open and living as normally as possible should be the primary aim, he said last month.

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