CoronaCheck QR code enforcement is weak: Testing for Access chairman
Before the government tightened coronavirus restrictions on Friday evening, partygoers were able to enter nightclubs and discotheques by presenting a QR code that proved they were either vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from a coronavirus infection, or had a recent, negative coronavirus test.
Pier Eringa is the chair of Open Nederland, the organization behind the coronavirus access testing system. Eniga said the QR codes were often improperly monitored when they were used to gain access to an establishment or an event. During an interview on NOS Radio 1 Journaal, he said it was “unfortunate but inevitable” that the government had to bring back certain measures after infection rates soared again in recent days.
“The enforcement of the QR code check is weak”, Eringa said. “We can test like crazy but if the next step is weak, the whole system won’t work.” According to the chair, a lot has been going well at the testing centers but there is always room for improvement.
In Enschede, at least 180 people tested positive for the coronavirus after visiting a nightclub at the end of June. The mayor of the town believed that the misuse of the access testing QR codes was responsible for the spread.
Several government policies announced on Friday will attempt to address those problems. Access testing may no longer be used to gain entry to a catering facility that wants to abandon the 1.5 meter social distancing rules to expand capacity to 100 percent. All catering businesses are required to maintain the social distance rule. Additionally, nightclubs and discotheques were ordered shut until August 13. Access testing may still be used for events, but a negative coronavirus test will only be valid for entry for 24 hours, instead of 40 hours.
Eringa expected that this last measure will lead to long queues at testing locations. “People will come more often, especially during peak hours. That means a lot of pressure for our organization. We wil have to work hard in the coming period.”
The access testing system was in place the last two weeks. Long queues for people to get tested in advance of weekend parties were frequently reported even before the government policy change.