The control of people returning to the Netherlands from very high risk countries is anything but waterproof. Research by Nieuwsuur shows that. This is often unclear whether people are going to quarantine for ten days.
For example, very high risk countries include India, South Africa and all of South America. But also the United Kingdom, where the contagious delta variant seizes around it.
Travelling to and from those countries is permitted, but under strict conditions: travellers must show a negative PCR test when entering the plane and must be quarantined for ten days upon arrival in the Netherlands.
Airlines that dont check properly
Audit starts at Schiphol Airport, where people are met by employees of the GGD Kennemerland upon arrival. Those who dont show the right papers will be listed, but can go through.
“Thats 45 to 46 deviations per week,” says Jelle Buijtendijk of GGD Kennemerland. “So thats 3 in 1000 passengers where we notice a deviation. Thats not much in itself, but it might be enough to point out the airlines that they should pay better attention to it.”
The airlines have to check people when entering the plane. Those who are unable to hand over correct papers at Schiphol Airport is not checked properly on departure.
Hold people with the wrong data at the airport cant. “We are not customs, so we cant pay attention to that. We were commissioned to test the airlines in particular.”
The GGD records all deviations, but then selects 300 forms based on a sample. They will be forwarded to the special call center.
Those who are quarantined at home can be called by someone from the ANWB. The organization, normally for cars with bad luck, has taken the telephone check at the request of the Ministry of VWS. But during the conversations, its not actively asked if they are actually sitting at home.
These quarantined people expected a check call. “I can go somewhere else.”
Just: what if someone says theyre in quarantine when its not at all? “You can never know that,” says Marco Gonzales of the ANWB. “We pay attention to striking ambient sounds, for example. Well open the conversation about that.”
Then theres a lot of people who dont pick up the phone at all. “Not accepting happens in about 30 percent of cases,” says Gonzales. “So thats quite a lot.”
The ANWB call team is trying to catch someone three times. If it still fails, the data will be forwarded to the municipality. There may be a decision to send a boa. If the traveller does not comply with the quarantine obligation, a fine of 339 euros can be imposed.
ANWBs Gonzales acknowledges that the system does not filter out all quarantine evidders. “This isnt waterproof. But I think its the most feasible within the possibilities.”
“Its the choice made at national and police level,” says Jelle Buijtendijk of the GGD. “We do that as best we can, to make it as fine-mesh as possible. But its not completely waterproof.”