Parliamentary majority supports a new testing facility at Schiphol
A majority of the Tweede Kamer supports establishing another Covid-19 testing location at Schiphol for travelers returning from a vacation. VVD, D66, CDA, and SP argued that expanding the testing capacity could prevent new variants of virus from gaining ground in the Netherlands, NOS reported.
The new testing location would be open 24 hours a day and travelers would be able to get tested for Covid-19 free of charge. The new testing facility would preferably also serve as a vaccination location simultaneously. "Test, get vaccinated and go", D66 MP Jan Paternotte described the approach.
CDA parliamentarian Joba van den Berg supported making tests mandatory for everyone who returns from a code yellow area. In his words, people who have already been fully vaccinated and had a digital vaccination certificate would be exempt from obligatory testing. Recent research proved that the Delta variant of the virus was commonly found in young Amsterdamers who recently returned from a holiday in Spain or Portugal.
A similar testing location operated in the arrivals hall of Schiphol last fall. It was closed after a month due to a shortage of personnel.
"Based on available scientific evidence, the Delta variant is more transmissible than other circulating variants and we estimate that by the end of August it will represent 90% of all SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating in the European Union," The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Wednesday.
Yvonne van Duijnhoven from GGD Amsterdam said on Wednesday that more than 40% of all new SARS-CoV-2 infections in Amsterdam can be linked to the delta variant of the coronavirus. She warned that the variant, first identified in India, could become dominant in Amsterdam as early as next week.