Health Minister: Covid access passes could be used more widely
The Cabinet is considering the wider use of coronavirus access passes in several scenarios, such as in the catering industry, at events, sports competitions and in arts and culture. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said the Cabinet will make a decision about this possibility on September 14.
That decision would then take effect on September 25, he said on Friday after the weekly Council of Ministers meeting. The Cabinet previously announced that such an obligation will be introduced, but that it would only apply for gatherings of over 75 visitors. That limit may be abandoned, De Jonge stated.
Additionally, he thought it was possible that employers could also require employees to provide proof of either being vaccinated against Covid-19, a recent recovery from the coronavirus infection, or a recent negative test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
"I also think that the discussion about vaccination should be much more emphatic and penetrating in the workplace," said De Jonge. He also finds it logical that employers want to know whether their employees have been vaccinated. "The question may be asked." Employees do have the right not to refuse to answer, he emphasized.
De Jonge also said he understands that in some work situations, such as healthcare, it must be possible to take other steps, if needed. He is in talks with the sector about what is already possible in that area under current legislation.
A group of about 1.8 million people who have not been vaccinated and who have not built up immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus after an infection will create a complicated dilemma in the autumn, he said. That could lead to thousands of new hospital admissions.
Coronavirus admissions tickets will become more important as a way of preventing increased pressure on the healthcare system, but without imposing new, overly restrictive measures on society.
Reporting by ANP