Mandatory Covid testing could replace access pass in higher education: Outbreak team
If students must get tested twice a week, this can be an alternative to the coronavirus access pass (CTB) in MBO, higher- and university education. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) recommended introducing a CTB there to reduce coronavirus transmission, but it also recognizes the drawbacks. Unvaccinated students would then have to get tested daily before they can go to lectures. According to the OMT, doing a self-test "under supervision" is also a solution to not proceed with the CTB.
The Cabinet is already preparing the introduction of the coronavirus access pass in higher education, should stricter coronavirus measures prove necessary. On Tuesday, caretaker Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education) said that education must remain open "as much as possible."
The intention is that an amendment to the law for a CTB in MBO and higher education will be prepared as soon as possible to be sent to parliament if necessary. Parliament must first agree to the expansion of the CTB. During the coronavirus press conference, caretaker Prime Minister and caretaker Healthcare Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that students, teachers, and other staff at MBO, HBO, and universities must wear face masks from 6 November when they walk through the school.
The OMT also advised the government to make hybrid education possible again so that pupils and students who have symptoms or were told to quarantine can follow digital lectures at home and miss as little education as possible. The experts advised keeping the rules in primary and secondary education as they are.
Several Ministries pointed out that introducing the coronavirus access pass in MBO and HBO is a high barrier to access for large groups of young people and that this will lead to school dropout. They indicate that in the long term, the economic costs of not having an education are enormous.
Reporting by ANP.