Covid vaccination certificates needed before summer holidays: Health minister
The Cabinet wants to make a decision on the introduction of Covid-19 vaccination certificates at the beginning of June, three weeks earlier than what the European Union wants. According to caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge, the country should take the rest of May to consider all aspects of the regulation that is meant to help international travel resume.
In a letter De Jonge wrote to the Tweede Kamer, he argued that the country should gain momentum by introducing the certificates earlier than what European officials recommend. He said this will ensure a smooth start of the summer holiday period.
"However, given the beginning of the summer holidays, which start shortly after June 21, I think it is important not to lose time and to start as soon as it is medically and technically justified," wrote De Jonge.
According to the minister, more research into whether vaccinated people are able to transmit the coronavirus is needed before vaccination certificates should enter into force. Additionally, he warned that there is also still a great deal of legal and technical preparations to be made.
Aside from traveling purposes, people with proof of vaccination may soon also be able to visit events in the Netherlands for which they no longer need to be tested in advance. Additionally, after returning to the country from a high-risk destination abroad, certificate holders could potentially be exempt from quarantine and testing obligations.
Evidence of a negative coronavirus test and a vaccination certificate are expected to be accessible within the same mobile app. To protect the privacy of users and ensure people are not indirectly obliged to undergo compulsory vaccination, the app should not indicate whether the certificate holder has been fully vaccinated or tested negatively.
De Jonge and Prime Minister Mark Rutte are expected to hold a press conference on Tuesday where they will elaborate on the country’s travel policy going into the summer holidays. Currently, all people residing in the Netherlands are advised not to travel abroad unless urgently necessary, but this advice could end on May 15.