It is still tricky for international students from outside the EU to get hold of a COVID pass. Minister De Jonge wants to make it a bit easier for them.
If they have been vaccinated in their home country, students from outside the EU do not always get a certificate that is valid in the Netherlands, so they miss out on the Dutch COVID pass. As a result, they still have to get tested if they want a night out, for example.
The procedure for converting their certificate into a Dutch vaccination certificate is currently as follows: a student must first be registered with a Dutch municipality and must have a Citizen Service Number (BSN); then the student has to go to the GGD in Utrecht to get hold of the COVID pass.
This led to questions in the House of Representatives. How is it possible that you can enter the Netherlands easily with a foreign vaccination certificate without having to quarantine, yet you don’t get a COVID pass immediately? According to Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Hugo de Jonge, the two situations are not comparable. In his view there is a greater risk of infection associated with activities that require a COVID pass.
He acknowledges, however, that there are categories of people, such as students from outside the EU, who “have difficulty getting a COVID pass”. But he expects to be able to help people without a BSN number more quickly very soon.
Extra GGD location
An extra GGD location is being added. At the GGD in Utrecht they have already issued a QR code to around 24 thousand people. The GGD in Groningen is also now making preparations to be able to convert foreign vaccination certificates from the second half of October, De Jonge reports.
A third GGD location might also be added. But “in light of the specific knowledge required to assess foreign vaccination certificates” there will be no further locations, the minister expects.