Proof of negative test results could help reopen NL faster: Covid think tank
The Corona Crisis Think Tank believes that proof of negative coronavirus test results could be used to allow concerts, festivals and other activities, as long as it is a temporary measure and used under strict conditions. The Think Tank investigated this at the request of the cabinet and will submit its advice on Monday, Nieuwsuur reports.
According to the Think Tank, rapid tests on location would be a logistical nightmare, but an admission ticket based on a test taken a short time before the event has possibilities.
"You can see that quick tests are not very suitable in terms of logistics for large events such as in the Ziggo Dome," Mariette Hamer, the chair of social and economic council SER and member of the Think Tank, said to Nieuwsuur. "But pre-testing works well. Anyone with a test certificate can then go in like that."
The Think Tank stressed that this measure must only be used when it is necessary. "We should not add an unnecessary measure now. But it can help in situations with high risks," Hamer said.
To determine which measures are needed for which events, the Corona Crisis Think Tank suggested using a traffic light model, with red high-risk events getting more measures - including maybe a negative test results requirement - than green low-risk events. Risk assessment will be based on various factors, including ventilation options, whether an event is inside or outdoors, how many people are attending, the possibility of maintaining social distancing, and how much attendees will mingle.
According to the Think Tank, it must be possible for everyone to get a rapid test in order to attend an event. That means that tests must be free of charge and easily accessible. It also means that test results must be available not only digitally, but also on paper. The test results must also be easy to call up, and personal data must be properly protected.
"For those who have already been vaccinated or have (recently) had an infection, practical solutions still need to be found," the Think Tank said.
If the government decides to walk this path and allow certain events and for certain locations to open temporarily, it must communicate about this very clearly to the business community and the public, the Think Tank said. With communication, special attention must be paid to people with low literacy, people who don't speak Dutch well, and people with a visual impairment.
The Corona Crisis Think Tank consists of a group of representatives from knowledge institutes, planning offices, and social partners. It includes Dutch central bank DNB, planning offices SCP and CPB, the Education Council, the association of Dutch municipalities VNG, and a number of trade unions, among others.