Should Covid-19 tests that are meant to get access to public life, remain free of charge in NL?

Should the Dutch government keep Covid19-tests that are meant for getting access to mass-events etc free of charge, or not, when everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated? Or should unvaccinated people pay for tests to participate in public life, like in Germany and Italy?


Perhaps the following is relevant. Setting conditions for access (vaccination; negative test) is a form of restriction of freedom and unequal treatment. That must be justified. And then it is relevant what the justification is.

Argumentation (1): The government has imposed general (social distancing) measures to protect public health. These liberty-limiting measures should not go beyond what is necessary. This is reason to grant exemptions from those measures to people that are not/less contagious. Hence, events can be made possible, but only for those groups.

Argumentation 2: Social distancing measures are less necessary now, but we strive for the highest possible vaccine coverage, to prevent new outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns.


If (1) is central (don't limit freedom more than necessary), then there is an extra way to achieve this, in addition to vaccination: offering free tests to enable access. Given that the government is obliged to see to it that liberty-limiting measures are proportionate, they should offer tests for free.

If (2) is central (aiming for higher vax rate), then offering alternatives to vaccination is completely illogical. Moreover, if high vaccination coverage is necessary to prevent new outbreaks, then the offer of tests free of charge seems fully unjustified.


August 2021 in The Netherlands I think (1) is still valid, so government: continue offering tests free of charge. But as soon as infections are sufficiently contained, but the vaccination rate has to be increased to prevent new outbreaks (2), then it would be fine if people who forego vaccination, have to buy tests to get access to cultural events etc.

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