New covid rules unmanageable says sports groups, hospitality
The Cabinet's announcement that coronavirus access passes will be used in more places sparked dissatisfaction among sports clubs and the hospitality industry. The new rules are unmanageable, according to them.
Football association KNVB and sports umbrella organization NOC*NSF called on parliament to reject the Cabinet's plan and keep sports at amateur associations accessible for everyone without a coronavirus access pass. From Saturday, anyone 18 and older who enters a sports complex must show the QR code proving that they are vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19, or tested negative for the coronavirus.
"The plans of the Cabinet for amateur football are practically impossible to implement," said the KNVB. "Volunteers are worth gold but also scarce. Where do you get volunteers who will check QR codes seven days a week for all athletes and visitors at an accommodation? Other sectors have professionals who can check visitors at the only entrance. We have volunteers who will have to do the same at a very open sports complex with often multiple entrances."
The football union asked for understanding. "Amateur football has gone along with all the coronavirus measures, but this is just a step too far and cannot be enforced. The term for the measure to take effect next weekend is completely unfeasible. Will associations that cannot take this step in time receive a fine? It all leads to great unrest and puts a heavy burden on associations, volunteers, and football players."
The catering industry wants the Cabinet to come up with extra coronavirus support for bars and restaurants. That the coronavirus access pass will also be mandatory on terraces is another hard blow for catering entrepreneurs, said hospitality association KHN who spoke of "symbol politics."
KHN chairman Rober Willemsen said that the Cabinet could not substantiate why the mandatory QR check is now also necessary on terraces. "Incomprehensible, since it does have a major financial impact for our members."
This obligation would exclude some guests from the hospitality industry. And the check costs companies extra staff. According to the KHN, it will soon be tens of millions of euros in additional costs in the current quarter and possibly hundreds of millions in lost turnover.
Shopkeepers are fine with the re-implementation of face masks in stores to reduce the number of coronavirus infections. But they call the possible introduction of coronavirus access passes in shops "absurd and pointless." It will lead to discussions at the shop door, has no support, and is not applied by any other country, retail sector organization INretail said in response to the Cabinet's coronavirus press conference.
INretail stressed that shops are not a source of contamination. According to the organization, the coronavirus access pass is intended for places where you are within 1.5 meters of other people for 15 minutes or longer. A shop visit usually takes less time. Checking the access pass will also require tens of thousands of extra employees who are impossible to find due to the labor shortage, the organization said.
INretail also pointed out that access passes are not required by any European country to enter a store. "After an experiment in some federal states, Germany concluded that it is unworkable," the organization said.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.