Widespread criticism on new permanent coronavirus law
Mayors, municipalities, and the GGD health services, among others, are all very critical of the new, permanent coronavirus law the government wants to implement after the summer, Trouw reports.
The new law gives the government additional powers to limit citizens’ fundamental rights in another health crisis. It includes similar measures used during the pandemic, like wearing a face mask, closing public spaces, and mandatory quarantine. The new law will become part of the existing Public Health Act.
According to the newspaper, mayors and municipalities feel that the bill was rushed. They believe it will cause more uncertainty and that the government hasn’t properly substantiated it.
The Advisory Board on Regulatory Pressure (ATR) is also critical. The board said there is not yet conclusive research to show which measures actually contributed to combating the coronavirus pandemic. The ATR called it unwise to implement a change in the law without clarity on what measures are effective.
Minister Ernst Kuipers of Public Health told the newspaper that the permanent law must be introduced faster than planned because the Senate scrapped the temporary coronavirus law in May. As a result, the Cabinet currently has options for quickly implementing freedom-restricting measures should there be another serious wave of coronavirus infections or other health crises.
The Council of State is currently considering the bill. It will publish its opinions on it later this month.