As part of the aim to see travel between EU countries resume this summer, the EU Commission has proposed that compulsory PCR tests before travel should be free. But don’t get too excited, the Netherlands is not in favour.
With holiday travel becoming possible again on May 15, many unvaccinated people will be required to take a PCR test before hopping on a plane and hitting the beaches. A commercial PCR test will oftentimes set you back over €100.
Take all this into account and the Netherlands’ decision certainly seems out of character for the bargain-hunting Dutch — but when a company’s profits are at stake, it’s a different story.
Rasmus Emmelkamp, director of Spoedtest.nl, tells radio station BNR that a free test is not profitable for commercial testers. “Such a test is already quite expensive. After it has been taken, it must be transported to a laboratory and we must secure the data” he explains. “We are in favor of the cheapest possible test, but as far as we are concerned, if it is free — it’s unattainable.”
No power to veto
As a result, the Netherlands is against the EU Commission’s proposal. However, if the majority of EU member states votes in favour of this proposal, the Netherlands will be obliged to follow suit.
This means that the Netherlands would either have to subsidise commercial testing, or, the GGD — which carries out free testing — will have to register their tests with a name. Currently, GGD tests do not have a specific name and therefore are not valid for use when it comes to using the result as a ticket to travel.
GroenLinks MEP, Tineke Strik, is in favour of using GGD tests for travel. “On the market, a test is easily €100, so it can really be a barrier, especially if you have to travel with a family and have a test done more often,” she tells the NOS Radio 1 Journaal.
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