Dutch marchers protest new COVID-19 pass to enter bars, restaurants


People take part in a protest on the day the Dutch authorities introduce a mandatory "corona pass", proof of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination or a negative test result, to enter bars, restaurants and cultural events in the country, in The Hague, Netherlands September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Protesters gathered to march against the introduction of a "corona pass" in the Netherlands on Saturday as proof of COVID-19 vaccination became compulsory to get into bars, restaurants, theatres and other venues.

The new requirement to show the pass, or a recent negative coronavirus test, coincided with the lifting of almost all social distancing measures in the country, where 72% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose.

While face masks will still be mandatory on public transport, students and teachers will no longer have to wear masks in schools, and a rule for 1.5-metre (nearly 5 feet) distancing in public was also scrapped.

Several hundred protesters gathered in The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government, to march through the city centre.

Most Dutch people support the introduction of the admission pass, but it has drawn criticism from the hospitality sector.

More than 40% of bar and restaurant owners do not plan to ask clients for the vaccination certificate, the country's Horeca Nederland hospitality industry association said, citing a survey of its members.

It said many businesses saw the requirement as a "political tool" aimed at boosting vaccination take-up.

"It is not only impossible to enforce, but will financially damage a sector that is just starting to recover," the association added in a statement.

The decision to introduce the pass also drew criticism from within the government of caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

"If we end up in a society where we have to be afraid of each other unless we can show proof, then you really have to scratch your head and ask yourself: Is this the direction we want to go?" Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Mona Keijzer said in a newspaper interview.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Helen Popper)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Leaders tackle Poland for challenging core of European integration
Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic ask for U.S. help on migration
Australia faces export tariffs if net zero not endorsed, warns minister
Japan's ruling bloc seen to cling to majority in Oct 31 election
S.Korea prepares to launch first domestically produced space rocket
'We need to lift relations' with Colombia - Venezuela President Maduro
With political tensions still high, Peru's Congress to vote on Monday on new cabinet
N.Korea says U.S. overreacting to missile test
U.S. to North Korea: it's time for sustained, substantive talks
Russia put Navalny's ally Sobol on wanted list -reports

Others Also Read


Vouchers