The express test abroad for passengers on their way to the Netherlands, which is mandatory since January 23, presents so many practical problems that in many cases travel is impossible. The Stichting Nederlanders Buiten Nederland (SNBN) wrote this in an urgent letter to External Affairs Minister Steve Block.
The halo rapid test, which is mandatory for all nationalities on their way to the Netherlands and which must have a negative result, may be a maximum of four hours old at the time of boarding. Although the antigen test provides a definite answer within 15 minutes, the institution notes that many foreign airports do not have testing facilities.
“This means that before leaving for the airport, one will first have to visit a clinic (mostly private) to take this quick test.” But at most airports, passengers of an international flight are expected to arrive three hours earlier. In practice, according to SNBN, in many cases it is impossible to catch a flight within the specified time limit.
“This means that the mandatory rapid test is an outright blockade: a disguised ban on returning to the Netherlands.” The foundation wrote that even in emergency situations of return, such as family circumstances, there is no guarantee that a passenger will be able to catch his or her flight and this is “disproportionate”. “The Dutch have a basic right to return to their homeland. With the mandatory quick test you (Minister Block, Editor) make this fundamental right a sham.”
SNBN, which claims to represent the rights of “over a million Dutch abroad,” asks Block to “politely but very urgently” lift the fast-test commitment “immediately” or extend the time factor along with this quick test to at least twenty-four hour “.
Lolke van der Heide has been writing for Business Travel about aviation and travel since 2007
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