Free self-test website to remain online for now

Students and teachers at higher education institutions can still order free Covid self-tests from the national website A plan to close the site by 1 June has been shelved for the time being.

The news comes from the Ministry of Education. The self-test site was launched one year ago. How long it will remain online is currently unclear. A spokesperson says it could be another couple of weeks or even longer.

In mid-March, the government decided to scrap a range of Covid measures. This included the advice that students and teaching staff should do a preventive self-test twice a week, even if they had no symptoms.

A little longer

Despite this policy shift, the government continued to provide free self-tests in education. These tests were to remain available to students and staff who developed Covid symptoms. “In principle, this will continue to be the case until 1 June”, Health Minister Ernst Kuipers wrote.

That date has now arrived. But it turns out that the website will remain online for a little longer. The vast majority of higher education institutions make use of the site, although some – such as Inholland University of Applied Sciences – distribute the tests themselves.

Once the site disappears, all institutions will have to switch to this approach. Some were already making preparations, and now they will have a little more time to put a system in place.

No figures on how many students and staff still make use of access to free self-tests have been released. In November 2021, it emerged that only three in ten students and six in ten staff members actually ordered the tests.


Several hundred million euros have been spent on distributing the tests. The previous education minister, Ingrid van Engelshoven, reported two months later that the free self-tests were having hardly any impact in terms of enabling more face-to-face teaching.

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