Dutch companies can test employees for Covid from December 21
From December 21, all companies and institutions in the Netherlands will be able to order rapid tests from the government's national coordination point for medicines LCH, so that they can test employees showing symptoms for the coronavirus themselves, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said in a letter to parliament on Wednesday.
Businesses in healthcare can already get rapid Covid-19 tests to test their employees. This will be expanded to all companies. This extra testing comes on top of the existing GGD test locations. The tests available to companies will be the antigen tests.
In order to test their employees themselves, companies must adhere to a number of conditions. The most important of these is that they must have a doctor or a health and safety service present for the tests. Test results must be passed on to the GGD.
De Jonge did not say how many tests companies can order, and how much they'll be charged.
The Health Minister also said that he is currently investigating whether healthcare workers can test themselves for the coronavirus at home. They will do an antigen test on themselves, with the aid of video instructions. If this turns out to work well, it could be expanded to more people being able to test themselves at home.
Over the past period, there were online theories and statements claiming that the PCR test, widely used in the Netherlands and throughout the world to test for the coronavirus, is unreliable. On Wednesday the Outbreak Management Team, a team of scientists advising the government on its coronavirus policy, strongly urged the government to speak out against this disinformation.
"The OMT thinks it is desirable that a position is taken on this by policymakers, in which it is stated that deliberate disinformation is unacceptable," the OMT said, according to NOS.