Local measures for new Covid-19 outbreaks, Justice Min. says
If there are local or regional coronavirus outbreaks in the future, these should first be tackled with local or regional measures, caretaker Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said after the last weekly meeting with the mayors on the Security Council for the time being. He and the mayors will discuss local measures in a digital meeting on July 12, NOS reports.
Last year, there was also a plan to tackle coronavirus outbreaks with local measures, but this proved ineffective. The regional approach was quickly abandoned when the virus spread to other regions. "The way we came up with it last summer was not great, we should especially take that into account as a cabinet," Grapperhaus said. His goal is customization, to avoid the entire country being saddled with measures that are only locally or regionally needed.
Chairman of the Security Council, Nijmegen mayor Hubert Bruls, is a little more hesitant about this idea. He thinks local quarantine rules can be effective if there is an outbreak in a nursing home, for example. But if there is an outbreak in a town or village, there must be national control, he said. "If infections increase, they spread pretty quickly."
The Security Council, which consists of the mayors that head the 25 security regions in the Netherlands, also discussed the first weekend of Testing for Access, in which Netherlands residents can use the CoronaCheck app to show they tested negative for Covid-19 and gain access to an event. Things went wrong in several places this past weekend. There were long lines at test locations. A cyber attack resulted in not everyone getting their results in time. And there were reports of catering entrepreneurs not checking properly, resulting in people being let in on someone else's negative test.
It is essential that the technical and logistical structure is trustworthy, Bruls said. "That has not gone smoothly and should not take weeks [to get right]." Even bigger events are coming up in the coming period, he pointed out. "If thousands of people can't get in, you also have a public order problem."
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb suggested that the app checking be separated from the organizer of the event or the club owner. He is considering including in event permits a third party that must check the apps.
The Security Council started meeting on a weekly basis shortly after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, often with Grapperhaus also attending. As the situation around the virus has improved drastically over the past weeks, the mayors believe weekly consultation is no longer necessary.