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THE HAGUE, Netherlands— The Netherlands said on Tuesday that it would gradually halt their COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing by using “pass” for bars, restaurants, and festivals.

According to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, COVID-19 pass will show proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or tested with a negative result that will be presented by people aged 13 above starting September 25. 

The Netherlands’ infection rates are dropping after the country strengthened its restrictions during the excruciating second wave. 

Rutte mentioned in a televised press conference that starting September 25 the required 1.5 meter social distancing will be stopped. He added that more people can visit cafes and restaurants and attend events such as festivals, and sporting events will be back to full capacity. 

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge stated that the COVID-19 pass is not forcing citizens to get vaccinated and can obtain such via testing that will be free of charge. 

The Netherlands will still necessitate the use of face masks on public transportation and airports. 


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