Rotterdam, Zwolle the latest cities to try wristband alternative to Covid passes
Rotterdam and Zwolle will start using a wristband that people can use as a coronavirus access pass for catering establishments in the city center this weekend.
In a letter to catering entrepreneurs, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said that mobile checkpoints will be set up in the city center of Friday and Saturday. They will be placed near the Stadhuisplein and Witte de Withstraat, both places where there are many places to go out. People who want to eat or drink something at a bar or restaurant in the area will receive a wristband at the checkpoint on presentation of their ID and valid QR code. The wristband is valid for one day and will have a different color every day.
Two checkpoints will be set up in Zwolle where people can have their QR code from the CoronaCheck app scanned. A test location will also be set up at one of the two locations. People have to make an appointment for that in advance. As soon as the results of their test are in and they tested negative, they will receive the wristband with which they can go out. Zwolle will use the coronavirus wristbands for at least the next two weekends. Then it will be evaluated.
The wristbands make it easier for catering establishments to check who has a coronavirus access pass. This check has been mandatory for people from 13 years old in the catering industry, among others, since last weekend. Rotterdam will use text carts to point people to the checkpoints in the city center. If this weekend's pilot is successful, more checkpoints may be placed in other places in the city.
Other municipalities preceded Rotterdam and Zwolle in the use of wristbands instead of QR codes. In Alkmaar and Breda it was already possible to go out with a coronavirus wristband last weekend. The Hague, Roosendaal and Oosterhout, among others, will also start this weekend.
Utrecht is not there yet. The municipality and entrepreneurs are still discussing this. Hospitality businesses applaud "everything that make the process at the door easy", a spokesperson for the local hospitality union KHN said. "Together we are investigating the possibilities," said responsible alderman Klaas Verschuure. If they agree, the coronavirus wristband should be available next weekend.
Reporting by ANP.