The Netherlands is preparing for the second weekend without (most) corona restrictions. Today, it once again resulted in long queues of young people who are tested to go out in nightclubs or at festivals. The catering industry promises to check for negative corona tests at the door better than last weekend. The organization behind Testing for Access also says that it has prepared itself even better.
If you wanted to have a quick test taken this afternoon at the Testen voor Access location in Breda, you had to be patient. The waiting time, even though people had made an appointment in advance, was up to 1.5 hours. This weekend, for the first time in a year, a festival will be held at a swimming pool near the city. 10,000 people are welcome there every day. They must show a negative corona test.
The waiting time for a rapid test in Amsterdam also increased today. Last weekend, when the nightclubs were allowed to open again for the first time, there were already long queues in the capital. The Open Netherlands foundation, which organizes Testing for Access on behalf of the government, already spoke of a large number of test agreements yesterday. “There are 260,000 booked test appointments. About 60,000 people have made a test appointment for Thursday. For Friday this is 130,000 and on Saturday just over 70,000 appointments have been booked for the time being. This number could rise further.”
Testing for Access has more than a hundred locations in the Netherlands, with a total test capacity of 250,000 per day. That will soon be expanded to 375,000 per day, yesterday the tender was opened for eight new XL test locations. They are distributed throughout the Netherlands.
The first weekend that the nightlife reopened and the Dutch wanted to undergo rapid tests with tens of thousands at the same time, did not go smoothly. Hundreds of people did not receive their test results on time due to a hacking attempt at Testing for Access. They were therefore officially not allowed to enter the nightclub or pub. Catering establishments and festivals are only allowed to let in unlimited people if they require a negative test as an entrance ticket. If they don’t, they must maintain the 1,5 meter distance rule in their business.
Due to the faltering test system of Testing for Access, some clubs decided to carry out quick tests at the door last weekend. The nightlife crowd in several cities also stated that they entered the catering industry with the QR codes of others. The latter is only possible if there is not a proper check at the door. Below the QR code are also the initials and part of the date of birth of the person who has been tested. It is therefore mandatory to show identification in addition to the code.
“If you get people at your door who you have to disappoint, you get all kinds of things all over you,” says Eveline Doornhegge, regional manager Koninklijke Horeca Nederland in Amsterdam. the watchword. The result was: entrepreneurs who went overboard and admitted the nightlife crowd without a valid ticket.
Get well soon
The catering industry has now promised improvement for this weekend. “The clubs agreed that people without a valid ticket should no longer be allowed in. Nobody is going to work with self-tests anymore, not even if the coronacheck app does not work again this weekend.”
This new strictness is prompted, among other things, by a major corona outbreak in Enschede. There were last weekend at least sixty people infected in the Aspen Valley discotheque. “And the counter is still running,” says the GGD. It is not yet clear how the disco could have become a source of infection.
Virologists are in any case concerned about the massive opening up of nightlife. Especially because people who have had one shot with the Janssen vaccine can also immediately receive a QR code for access. Experts argue that it is better to wait two weeks, then the vaccine will really work well. For the time being, Health Minister De Jonge is sticking to immediately ‘dancing after Janssen’.
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