CoronaCheck app overload causing huge crowds; Many cafes not screening customers for Covid
The frequent use of the CoronaCheck app has overloaded servers on Saturday. People are experiencing problems if they have yet to create their QR code or have not used the app for a while, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
Saturday is the first day on which everyone from the age of 13 must have a coronavirus access ticket in order for them to visit a hospitality business, sports competition, event or many arts and culture venues. The passes are created as a QR code for people who tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection within 24 hours, who recovered from the infection at any time in the past, or those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 more than 14 days ago.
This has created a great deal of pressure on the CoronaCheck app, the main government portal for creating the access passes. People who have downloaded the QR code before should not experience any problems, according to the spokesperson.
"We are advising everyone to try again at a later date." The ministry has also advised people to download the QR code at home before they try to go somewhere where they need a coronavirus pass. It will then be available on their device even offline.
The website AlleStoringen shows that the number of outage reports about the CoronaCheck app rose to more than 1,800 on Saturday evening, Hart van Nederland reported. Many people on social media also expressed their dissatisfaction with the overloaded app.
Restaurants and cafes not always checking for coronavirus pass
Although the passes are required for everyone 13 and up, this was not strictly checked right from the start. This emerged from visiting a number of hospitality businesses in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague, Arnhem, Doetinchem and Roermond, among others.
In two large catering establishments in the center of Rotterdam, all visitors had to show their coronavirus passes on Saturday morning, but an operator of a business a little further away said that he would only scan the CoronaCheck app if the guests request it. In another place in the center of Rotterdam, an employee occasionally walked past the tables to check. "We are too small to have someone at the door all the time," the manager explained.
In The Hague, many catering visitors sat on a terrace on Saturday afternoon because of the beautiful weather. A woman at a table in the sun did not have the idea that the CoronaCheck app was being checked for those guests who went inside a cafe to use the toilet. A waiter on a terrace on The Plein said that the business where he works was definitely not checking for toilet visitors, but they were checking guests who were sitting inside. "Two tables inside are occupied and the people sitting at them showed their QR code without any problems," said the employee.
The operator of a cafe said that she was indeed checking the app. She called the checks "important".
All coronavirus tickets were requested at a cafe on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. Workers were checking people randomly at a restaurant in the Westerpark, and at another restaurant in the same park there were no checks made at all. That also applied to a restaurant at the Olympic Stadium.
In Roermond, many catering businesses did not seem to put too much effort into checking coronavirus tickets. In many restaurants on Munsterplein and Roerkade, visitors were not required to have their QR codes scanned. There was a check for visiting the brasserie in a hotel-theater in the Limburg city, but not to enter the building for a trip to the toilet.
The catering sector in the center of Utrecht also did not seem to place a high priority on checking the coronavirus passes. A visitor who stopped at four cafes had to show their proof of vaccination at just one occasion.
Many catering establishments outside on the terrace in the center of Arnhem indicated that a coronavirus pass was required to enter. Indeed, a number of randomly selected restaurants and cafes asked for proof at the entrance. Some people were annoyed when they had to show a QR code, according to a cafe owner in the square where a market was held, but overall the check went smoothly.
A large banner was hanging with text that ready, “On the way to a cafe or restaurant? Have your coronavirus pass ready!” in the center of Doetinchem, but there were hardly any checks on Simonsplein on Saturday afternoon. When asked, the cafes indicated that they were only checking people when they sit down at a table inside. Other catering establishments on the square also took this approach.
Reporting by ANP