Dutch schools canceling field trips abroad after no booster advice for teens
Schools in the Netherlands are canceling field trips abroad after the Dutch Health Council advised against giving Covid-19 booster shots for teenagers. Countries like France, Italy, and Germany require a booster shot on top of full vaccination to access their catering, culture, and tourism sectors, De Telegraaf reports.
For example, when visiting Rome, pupils won't be able to go to the Colosseum or Vatican Museums or out for pizza afterward. The schools, therefore, consider the trips pointless, the newspaper wrote.
Travel association ANVR called the Dutch Health Council's different booster shot advice for teenagers than adults "maddening," speaking to De Telegraaf. The association called on Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs to commit to the Netherlands maintaining the same rules as other European Union member states.
On Friday, Minister Ernst Kuipers of Public Health said that vacations would not be the main factor the Cabinet considers when deciding whether or not to give teenagers booster shots. He said that the choice would "first focus on the health situation." But he added that the government will also look at "many other factors." According to him, the earlier relaxation of lockdown measures despite the increasing infections shows that the Cabinet is not only looking at the health side of things.
The Dutch Health Council said that it considers booster shots for teenagers aged 12 to 17 unnecessary. According to the Council, the limited health benefits a booster shot would give do not outweigh the limited risks the shot entails.