Goodbye freebie coronavirus tests: government wants access tests paid for

During a recent coronavirus debate in the House of Representatives, a narrow majority came out in support of people paying a contribution for access tests in the future.

Remember in the early days of the vaccination process when people were offered free herring at the vaccination sites as an incentive to get their shots? (So Dutch).

Up until this point access tests for events have been given for free. However, RTL Nieuws reports that several political parties submitted a motion asking the government to work towards a policy where people make a personal contribution to their tests in the future, now that most people have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Essentially, these parties are trying to incentivise people to get their jab — no more free fish.

The practicalities

Egalitarian as ever (we love that), these parties suggested that a compensation effort of some sort should be made for people who “cannot be vaccinated”.

In addition, they recommended that the policy of paying for access tests should also lapse if “testing for access becomes necessary regardless of vaccination status”. The change will also only take place once everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Government policy  

During the press conference last Friday, the cabinet announced that it wants to introduce a policy where visitors to catering establishments, events, festivals, sports competitions, and cultural gatherings must show evidence of a negative test or vaccination if more than 75 guests are present.

How much might this contribution be?

The outgoing minister of health, Hugo de Jonge mentioned a possible amount of €7.50 for the personal contribution.

Resistance from other members of parliament

Although the majority of the House of Representatives were in favour of people making a personal contribution to their access tests, there were of course the neigh sayers — we’re looking at you Geert Wilders.

Lilian Marijnissen, the leader of the Socialist Party also opposed the motion, fearing that a scenario in which “people who do not want or cannot be vaccinated or who cannot afford the test” may be excluded from accessing events.

But since the cabinet wants it, and the majority of parliament supports it, you can bet that we’ll be paying for these tests in the upcoming fall.

What are your thoughts on the idea of people making a personal contribution to access tests? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Mufid Majnun/Unsplash

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.


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