Everyone incl. vaccinated should be tested for Covid access pass: ChristenUnie
The ChristenUnie wants to require everyone, vaccinated or not, to get tested for the coronavirus infection in order to access locations where a coronavirus pass is mandatory. The party, a which is part of the governing coalition, proposed this as an alternative to the Cabinet's plans to modify the current access pass policy to the 2G system. This only grants access to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or those who have recovered from a previous infection.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will defend the 2G policy in parliament on Tuesday. They want to prevent the hospitals from overflowing this winter without severe restrictions that also apply to vaccinated people. After all, they run less risk of becoming seriously ill.
The bill for the 2G policy is still being worked on and is expected by the end of this week at the earliest. But the ChristenUnie is already critical of this approach, which other countries are already following, because it could lead to polarization and dichotomy in society. Partly because of this, support for the 2G policy in parliament is still uncertain.
"1G", as the ChristenUnie calls its own proposal, does not distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated. Anyone wishing to attend an event must undergo a PCR test. For more daily activities, an antigen test may suffice. That can also be a self-test.
According to ChristenUnie, it is important that more testing is done in the coming period, also because the vaccines' protection is decreasing. By detecting infections more quickly, the virus can be slowed down, and the pressure on healthcare can be eased, the party thinks.
MP Mirjam Bikker acknowledged that vaccinations "definitely" contribute to the fight against the coronavirus. "But if we know that the vaccination rate will never be 100 percent, that the protection rate of vaccinations is decreasing, and that vaccination does not work for everyone, that will never be the whole solution.
Opposition party PvdA is open to the 2G policy, but vehemently against using coronavirus access passes in the workplace. "I want to look at 2G with an open mind," PvdA parliamentarian Attje Kuiken said to the Volkskrant.
In addition to the 2G policy, parliament will also debate the "mild lockdown" Rutte and De Jonge announced at the end of last week. According to the Cabinet, the three-week-long lockdown is necessary because the infection figures and hospital admissions continue to rise. Over 19,000 infections were reported on Monday, although this also included figures not reported over the weekend due to a malfunction.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.