Inspectorate investigates coronavirus checks at airports
The Inspectorate for Human Environment and Transport is investigating at least one airline for failing to perform coronavirus checks at airports, a spokesperson confirmed to Nieuwsuur. The Inspectorate would not say which airline is involved.
Travelers returning from countries with a code yellow coronavirus travel warning must show a vaccination certificate or negative test results before boarding the plane. Travelers from the Netherlands can do this with a QR code on their CoronaCheck app. Airlines must do a 100 percent check - check every passenger - before takeoff. As passengers enter the plane through one entrance, this is considered easily done.
Upon arrival in the Netherlands, the various Security Regions carry out random checks at the gate to see whether the airlines have their affairs in order. And this does not always prove to be the case.
Up to 5 percent of travelers at Eindhoven Airport, for example, were unable to show a valid certificate over the past months, Nieuwsuur found when speaking to Security Region Brabant-Zuidoost. Which means that they boarded their plane without being fully vaccinated or having proof of a recent negative test. The Security Region takes note of the airlines involved and passes it on to the Inspectorate for investigation.
Coalition parties D66 and CDA are unpleasantly surprised that the airlines' coronavirus checks aren't air-tight. D66 parliamentarian Jan Paternotte called it "astonishing" and "incomprehensible" because it is easy for airlines to perform a 100 percent check, as all passengers have to go through one door. "You are constantly asked for a passport or boarding pass. Then it is very easy to check whether people have that QR code," he said to Nieuwsuur.
CDA parliamentarian Joba van den Berg asked the cabinet for clarification. "If people can't provide adequate evidence, they should be refused," he said to the program.