As soon as Belgium switches to 'code yellow' on its coronavirus barometer, the extended Covid Safe Ticket (CST) – required to gain access to the hospitality industry, gyms or cultural events – will immediately be lifted in Wallonia.
Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale announced on Wednesday after the Interministerial Conference (IMC) on Health that she will ask the Walloon government to prepare the implementing decrees, to make its abolition possible immediately.
"Tomorrow, I will propose to immediately suspend the CST in Wallonia as soon as 'code yellow' is announced by the Consultative Committee," she said on Twitter. "We all need rapid positive measures given the reassuring health evolution."
Pas un jour de trop!La situation épidémique continue de s’améliorer. Demain, je proposerai au #Walgov de suspendre immédiatement le CST en #Wallonie dès l’annonce du code jaune par le #Codeco. Nous avons tous besoin de mesures positives rapides vu l’évolution sanitaire rassurante— Christie Morreale (@christiemorreal) February 23, 2022
The next Committee meeting will take place on Friday 4 March, which is "not a day too soon" for Morreale. The authorities will again discuss the coronavirus situation, with the transition to 'code yellow' expected to be on the table. At that stage, a series of measures, such as the use of the CST, will come to an end.
Over the past weeks, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Flemish and Walloon Minister-Presidents Jan Jambon and Elio Di Rupo, and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke have all indicated that they expected that more relaxations would be possible from mid-March.
Morreale will ask the regional government to prepare the implementing decrees that will make it possible to carry out "this immediate lifting, within our regional competences," she told the Belga News Agency.
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While the Federal Government is in charge of deciding whether or not to scrap the use of the CST for international travel, major events and nightclubs, the tool's so-called "extended" version – used for the hospitality industry, event halls and gyms – is regulated by the different regional governments.
"However, this does not mean that we are going to scrap the CST completely. It has been useful, especially during the fourth wave. But we can put it back in our toolbox today," Morreale said.
"We have always said we would not use it for a day too long. The situation is improving. The population needs positive news. For us, the lifting of the CST must come immediately after the switch to code yellow," she added.