The Netherlands is taking a cautious step towards normality: more safety distance in restaurants and shops. But it is far from being a “Vrijheidsdag”.
Amsterdam (AP) – The Netherlands is on the way back to a normal life.
From today, Saturday, the mandatory safety distance of 1.5 meters will be abolished – after a good 18 months. “We are taking a clear step towards a society without restrictive corona measures,” the Hague government said.
However, the Dutch cannot yet celebrate the “Vrijheidsdag” (freedom day). Because the 1.5 meter rule is replaced by the controversial Corona Pass. Now, anyone over the age of 13 must prove that they have been vaccinated, tested or recovered before going to restaurants, culture or sport.
3G proof required
In view of the decline in the number of infections and patients, as well as a relatively high vaccination rate, the government considers it its responsibility to relax the measures. Full stadiums and pubs are allowed again, and restaurants, shops and theaters can once again admit an unlimited number of visitors – but only after presenting the Corona passport. Anyone who has not been vaccinated or recovered can be tested for free at a testing center.
But this requirement is very controversial. Innkeepers have already announced in several cities that they will not check 3G proof. Even the municipalities do not want to impose penalties in the first weeks for infractions. Opponents of vaccination have announced protests in The Hague.
In an investigation commissioned by the authorities, a good third of the population complains that the government restricts freedom too much. Another third is behind the measures.
“Innkeepers don’t see it as their job to control customers,” according to a survey by the Royal Association of Restaurants. According to her, there is a lack of staff and money for the checks. In addition, entrepreneurs fear attacks and threats.
Restrictions for schools and universities had already been lifted, as was, for the most part, the mask requirement. Mouth and nose protection should always be worn on buses and trains; Nightclubs and nightclubs must close at midnight.
Authorities say about 82 percent of adults are now fully immunized. The incidence at 7 days is approximately 77.