Netherlands

Elderly people struggle with corona proof: ‘I am not going to buy a new phone for this’

From 25 September, you can only grab a terrace, eat out or visit the theater if someone can show a corona certificate. But for the elderly, that can be a problem. There is a paper alternative sent by post, but it is often difficult to get one.

It is not entirely clear how many people get into trouble, says Renate Evers of the elderly association ANBO. “It is also difficult for us to reach people and get the group clearly visible. But we do know that more than a million older people are not digitally skilled.”

This group includes elderly people who do not have a smartphone at all, Evers knows. “But sometimes they do have a smartphone, but an older model that does not run such an app. And sometimes there is help available from their children or neighbors, for example, but then they want to solve it themselves.”

According to Evers, the problem is that not everyone has a DigiD. “We already foresaw these problems this summer, when people wanted to go on holiday. That is why people with the general corona information number can call for a paper corona passport, for people without a printer or smartphone. paper proof sent within ten days.”

However, this did not help everyone, as it turned out. “People were told that they still needed a DigiD, or that they should go to the library to ask for help with printing. We also received complaints about long queues.”

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport also acknowledged this problem, says Evers. “In order to overcome capacity problems, a tape started that is played when people call. In that tape a caller has to enter his BSN and zip code, but that often goes wrong.”

Mary van den Berg (80) from Baarn called that number. “I’m not familiar with these kinds of things so it seemed like such a good solution. My children can help, but I try to bother them as little as possible. About a month ago I requested the proof. “An answering machine passed on my details, but after I had done that, I heard nothing more. Then I tried to get a person on the phone, but I thought that took too long so I hung up.”

Mrs. Van den Berg then passed on her data again, after which she again waited in vain for confirmation that it had been successful. “And then a few days ago I received a letter with such corona proof twice. So it was successful, but that tape needs to be a little clearer, that they say ‘received data’ or something like that.”

She is happy that she now has the corona proof. “I think it would be useful to have, I still go to the restaurant regularly.”

Jan Klomp (84) from Maarssen also called the general corona number for a paper corona certificate. “They referred me to the GGD, but the GGD said I should be at the injection location, so I called the injection location in Utrecht. They told me to call the RIVM.”

Grandson in IT

Mr. Klomp then received another number from the RIVM, he says. “That was the number of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and after I had struggled through all kinds of menus, I was finally told that I had to go to the GGD!”

In the end, he managed to install a QR code on his tablet. “But then I always have to take my tablet with me when I go out. I do have a smartphone, but it is 12 years old and the QR code does not work on it. That phone is only for emergencies, I am not going to buy a new one for this I think that’s a waste of money and environmental pollution.”

That is why Mr. Klomp is keeping it closer to home. “I’ll make a cup of coffee myself, but no terrace. It’s just a mess. I do have a grandson who is in IT. He will come over once and then I can see if he can solve it. I haven’t asked him yet.”

Separate number

To prevent queues and other problems at the call center, the ANBO has argued for a separate telephone number with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. “But that turned out to be impossible,” says Evers. “The ministry now says it is doing its best to expand capacity. We have heard that between 700 and 1000 people call a day to receive a paper corona proof.”

Call center employees would also have been instructed to handle the requests more flexibly. “For example, if it turned out earlier that people could print themselves, a proof sent to them was often refused. The ministry has now indicated that from last week it will be more flexible with requests from callers, but it is still too early to say whether that will also be the case. is already noticed by callers.”

Elderly people struggle with corona proof: ‘I am not going to buy a new phone for this’
Source link Elderly people struggle with corona proof: ‘I am not going to buy a new phone for this’

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