Minister: Covid pass also for international students without BSN

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International students coming from countries that are not part of the EU don't always manage to get a certificate of vaccination that is also valid in the Netherlands, so they miss out on the Dutch Covid pass that allows them to get into restaurants, events and cultural venues without having to get tested.

The procedure for converting their national certificate into a Dutch one currently goes as follows: first, the student must be registered with a Dutch municipality and get a social security number (BSN in the Dutch acronym). Then, they have to go to a municipal health facility (GGD) in Utrecht to get a Covid pass.

This topic went all the way to the Dutch House of Representatives. Members of parliament asked themselves how is it possible that people can enter the Netherlands with a foreign vaccination certificate, without having to quarantine, yet they can’t get a Covid pass right away? According to Minister of Health, 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 “are having difficulties getting a Covid pass”. But he expects to be able to help people without a BSN number in a more effective way very soon.

Extra GGD location
The GGD in Utrecht has already issued a QR code to around 24,000 people. The one in Groningen is also making preparations to be able to convert foreign vaccination certificates from the second half of October on, 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.