Dutch Cabinet puts plans for 2G Covid access policy on hold
The Cabinet decided to put plans to implement a 2G coronavirus access policy on hold for the time being. Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health informed the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, about this on Monday. This is partially due to the "uncertainties surrounding the Omicron variant," De Jonge said.
"The government has established that, given the level of infection pressure and the continuing pressure on healthcare, it is unlikely that there will be room in the short term to open (parts of) sectors where there is a higher risk environment with the use of a coronavirus access pass on 2G," De Jonge said in a letter to parliament.
It, therefore, does not make sense to rush this controversial measure through parliament and the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. The Cabinet asked the chair of the Tweede Kamer to delay a vote on the initiative until January.
The 2G system allows access to people vaccinated against Covid-19 or who recently recovered from the coronavirus. The Netherlands currently uses the 3G system, also allowing access to people who tested negative for the coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
The Cabinet still wants to implement the 2G system but does not think they will win majority support in parliament for such a decision while the impact of the Omicron variant is investigated.
"After all, without the application of 2G [coronavirus access passes], certain sectors with high-risk settings, such as (parts of) the catering industry, culture, and events will have to remain closed for longer than necessary," De Jonge said