Extending Covid Safe Ticket ruled out by Francophone greens

Extending Covid Safe Ticket ruled out by Francophone greens
Credit: Belga

As the Consultative Committee meets this (Friday) afternoon to discuss the last restrictions still in force, the Francophone green Ecolo party has come out firmly against an extension of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST).

While it has not been used since Belgium switched to 'code yellow' on its coronavirus barometer on 7 March, the CST still exists, but the legal basis to impose the tool is set to expire on 30 June.

However, the coronavirus has not disappeared entirely and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke indicated that he wants to extend the legal basis for the CST, should it become necessary again in case a more dangerous virus variant emerges.

The discussion about extending that legal framework will be further complicated as no consensus about the measure was found within the Brussels Regional Government on Thursday, reports Bruzz.

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In practice, this means that Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort and Deputy Minister Elke Van den Brandt have no mandate to plead for the extension of the CST at the Committee.

The French-speaking greens have previously made clear their strong opposition to reintroducing the CST, and stated that they think a discussion about a possible extension is "premature."

Vaccination, testing and tracing should suffice as measures against a possible new wave, "There is no reason to reactivate the CST with a low virus circulation," they said.

In any case, the measure is linked to the coronavirus barometer, meaning that if the country moves back into 'Code Orange', a valid CST will again be required to prove that people are fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative or recovered from a Covid-19 infection to gain access to events and places such as bars, restaurants, gyms and cinemas.

While such a situation is far from reality at the moment, Vandenbroucke wants to be prepared.

The Consultative Committee will meet this afternoon from 14:00 and will hold a press conference to announce its decisions afterwards, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told The Brussels Times.

An overview of all topics expected to be on the table can be found here.

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