Freedom based on 'Covid Safe Ticket' should be temporary, says Wilmès

Freedom based on 'Covid Safe Ticket' should be temporary, says Wilmès
Credit: Belga

The "Covid Safe Ticket" announced by the Belgian government on Tuesday to allow the organisation of mass events should remain a "temporary and exceptional" document, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès.

Not to be confused with the EU's Digital Green Certificate, which is intended to make travel between member states possible again this summer, the implementation of this "ticket" should definitely be limited until the end of September, said Wilmès.

"What I really don't want to do is for us to one day decide to make freedom conditional on the state people's health. I don't think that's right," Wilmès told RTBF on Wednesday. 

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She explained that, although the vaccination campaign is going well, it may take until September before there is a "full vaccination coverage" in Belgium.

However, on Tuesday, the Consultative Committee announced that it will already be possible to organise larger outdoor events, such as festivals, starting from 13 August, as long as all participants have proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Wilmès explained this is why the "Covid Safe Ticket", a "one-off, temporary and exceptional document", was introduced, to ensure events can be organised in a safe way in the meantime but emphasised that this does not mean vaccination is compulsory, and that "there must be other ways of proving that things are organised in a safe way."

"There are also people - admittedly only a few - who should not be vaccinated for various reasons. They too must be able to make use of their freedoms," Wilmès said.

She added that this ticket should clearly be distinguished from the European travel pass, for which negotiations are still ongoing between the European Parliament, Commission, and Council, as this travel document is intended to be used outside the country and "will probably last for a longer period of time," whereas the ticket is "intended to be extremely limited in its action and in time."

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