Under these conditions, the cabinet wants to implement a new round of relaxation as of 20 September. The core of this is letting go of the distance rule. It means that mouth caps are no longer mandatory in public transport and that the home working motto will also stop.
The idea was to work with tickets for groups larger than 75 people; those who want to enter an event must be able to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, recovered from corona or tested. It seems that the group size is being adjusted downwards, so that a corona ticket is requested from 50 visitors or less.
Own contribution to rapid test
Because in that case more people will be tested for access, Minister De Jonge (Public Health) is considering asking for a personal contribution for such a test. It is a new attempt in that area; when the minister proposed in May to request a personal contribution of €7.50 for having a corona rapid test for an admission ticket, the House of Representatives voted against it. Testing for access is still free of charge for consumers.
Now that everyone has been able to get vaccinated, the situation is different, says De Jonge. A change in the law is required for a personal contribution. That also applies to letting go of the one and a half meters. Earlier this month, a majority in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the plan to partially pass on access tests to unvaccinated people.
The personal contribution for an access test can be an extra incentive for (young) people to still be vaccinated, the cabinet hopes. Although the Netherlands is approaching a vaccination rate of 85 percent with 80,000 injections per week, about one and a half million adult Dutch people are still not vaccinated. It can still lead to 2,200 to 3,400 IC admissions and between 16,000 and 32,000 hospital admissions, De Jonge recently calculated. “If that rolls over healthcare in a short time, that’s too much.”
In the meantime, there are still a number of uncertainties, for example what the full classes in secondary schools mean for the pressure on healthcare, the seasonal effect and the influence of the common flu. That is why the cabinet is dressing the relaxation of 20 September with parachutes. It cannot be ruled out that the date is still moving. This also applies to November 1, the date on which the cabinet wants all measures to be taken off the table, such as the limitation on the closing times of the cafés, the closure of the clubs and the admission tickets. The press conference, scheduled for September 17, is likely to be brought forward to Tuesday the 14th.