Belgium must abolish CST as soon as crisis is over, urges De Croo

Belgium must abolish CST as soon as crisis is over, urges De Croo
Credit: Belga

The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) must be a temporary measure that is abolished as soon as the coronavirus crisis is over, stressed Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

In an interview with De Morgen, De Croo stated that we would have to remain careful for another two to three years, and that the CST, or another tool to show that someone is Covid safe, will continue to play an important role.

“But after this crisis, the CST must be put in a drawer, the drawer must be locked, and the key must be thrown away,” he said. “I do not want a pass for the seasonal flu. It must remain an absolute exception.”

De Croo stated that politicians often hesitate too much to take certain very bold measures, but added that the same hesitation is often present when those measures have to be abolished again. “Look at the curfew: as soon as it was in place, it was justified for almost anything. I notice that around the CST too, the hesitation disappears very quickly.”

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When it turned out that the vaccines were not the golden ticket out of the pandemic, many argued for scrapping the CST, but De Croo believes the tool is still useful.

“The CST is a way to interact in a safer way. There is no such thing as 100% safety, but the vaccines still protect us very well, also against infection,” he said. “With Omicron, a vaccinated person is nine to ten times more protected against serious illness. And a vaccinated person who is infected is also nine to ten times less likely to transmit the virus.”

“This means that the vaccine definitely remains the basis of our defence, although I have said in the past that I am not in favour of making it compulsory,” De Croo said. “We give people a free choice, because it concerns their bodies. That is not nothing.”

However, “freedom does not mean that you can do what you like without restrictions,” he underlined. “Anyone who wants to participate in public life should not jeopardise the freedom of another to do so. That is why we work with the CST, to draw a line there.”

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