International students miss out on social life because vaccination is not recognized


International students outside the European Union who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in their home country often cannot go out to the Netherlands because they cannot get a QR code for a pass to the coronavirus, student unions LSVb and ISO told NU .nl.

As of Saturday, anyone 13 years of age or older in the Netherlands must present a coronavirus access pass in the restaurant sector, the arts and culture sector, as well as for sporting events and events. The application with which access codes are scanned, the CoronaCheck application, only accepts the Digital Corona Certificate (DCC) standard, which is used in the EU and some non-EU countries, but not in all. The UK and US, for example, do not use this standard.

Students who have been vaccinated in a country that does not use the DCC standard therefore cannot obtain a coronavirus access pass QR code based on their vaccination status. If they want to go to a bar, festival or museum, they will have to get tested for Covid-19. Negative test results are valid for 24 hours.

“It’s a problem,” ISO president Lisanne de Roos told NU.nl. “In this way, this group is excluded from activities in which they can come into contact with other students, which is very important for international students, especially at the start of the academic year.”

LSVb President Ama Boahene pointed out that international students are already struggling in the Netherlands, for example when it comes to finding accommodation. “If students cannot easily participate in social activities either, exclusion and loneliness threaten.”

Unions do not know how many international students are affected, but stressed that it does not matter for the urgency of the problem. “It is important that vaccination certificates from outside the EU are also approved. This has to happen very quickly,” Boahene said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, which is responsible for the CoronaCheck app, told NU.nl that the ministry is aware of the problem and is working on a solution. “It is only a constant trade-off between vulnerability to fraud and convenience. If you approve a foreign vaccination certificate, you are indicating that you have complete confidence in the way the vaccines were administered and that they were administered. belong to the right person, ”the spokesperson said. .



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