THE HAGUE--Residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba per July 1 will be able to make use of the so-called Coronacheck app as proof of a negative test result, a vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday approved the legal regulation for the Coronacheck app. A solution for the use of this app is being sought for Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
The voting on the legal regulation took place after a debate on Monday in which caretaker Minister of Public Health, Welfare and Sport Hugo de Jonge provided an explanation. By linking the Coronacheck app with the future Digital Corona Certificate (DCC) of the European Union (EU), the app can be used by July 1 for travelling within Europe.
For the use of the Coronacheck app a citizen service number BSN and a digital ID DigiD are in principle needed. Because residents of the Dutch Caribbean do not have either of these, authorities are looking at ways to enable these residents to use the Coronacheck app.
Member of Parliament (MP) Jan Paternotte of the Democratic Party D66 specifically asked about the use of this app for residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba as they do not have a BSN number or DigiD. “I was made to understand that the Caribbean Netherlands hasn’t received word as yet on if and how they will be able to use the DCC,” he said.
Paternotte also enquired about the situation for Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. “How does a person in Aruba get the approval in the Coronacheck app so he or she can also travel within Europe? Shouldn’t we create a window where people can transfer one’s proof of vaccination so it can be uploaded and becomes available for one of the source systems?”
Paternotte got support from MPs Aukje de Vries of the liberal democratic VVD party, Joba van den Berg of the Christian Democratic Party CDA and Attje Kuiken of the Labour Party PvdA for his suggestion.
De Jonge said there was a solution for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. “Most residents of the Caribbean Netherlands islands don’t have a BSN number and as such also not a DigiD or online identification. Vaccinated persons on the islands will be able to upload their paper vaccination card via an exemption route through a to-be-developed portal. The paper vaccination card can be used as proof and can be uploaded in the Coronacheck app, which will become operational per July 1,” he said.
For Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten the possibilities to use the Coronacheck app and the linked DCC proof are still being looked at. “Either way, they can travel. Only we want to make it as easy as possible for them. We want to make it possible for these residents to make use of a DCC,” said De Jonge.
Also, in the case of the Dutch Caribbean countries, he said the target date for the introduction of the Coronacheck app and the DCC was July 1, the same date as for the Netherlands. De Jonge promised to provide more information to the Second Chamber in a separate letter which he will send shortly.