Covid-19 tests should be compulsory for youth camps, says socialist leader
Sunday, 16 May 2021
Testing for the coronavirus should be mandatory – instead of only recommended, as it is now – for participants in youth camps, according to Conner Rousseau, the president of the Flemish socialist Vooruit party.
Speaking on VRT’s ‘De Zevende Dag’ on Sunday, he said testing should be envisaged, too, for marriages and festivals.
Rousseau, whose party is also that of Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, said many people are sceptical about the easing of the lockdown measures announced at the last Consultative Committee meeting.
The relaxations are “too lax,” he said, since “too many details are left to be sorted out.”
The socialist party is in favour of a relaxation of the measures but wants it to be done in all safety, according to Rousseau, who said he expects a lot from the Consultative Committee session scheduled for the end of May.
The question of safety is also related to the issue of a possible Belgian “corona pass,” in addition to a European health certificate aimed at facilitating summer travel during the pandemic.
Last week, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo already warned in the Chamber that he did not want a “pass society” in which such a document would be needed to go to the hairdresser or a restaurant, for example.
For Rousseau, such statements are not only “a bit light” but also “purely Kafkaesque.”
The health certificate developed by the European Union will also be used in Flanders, he noted. “Isn’t it absurd to institute something else that would do exactly the same thing?” he asked, referring to the Covid Safe Ticket that would be used for major festivals.
Rousseau’s views weres not shared by the Flemish Minister for Youth, Benjamin Dalle, who noted that the protocols for camps and youth activities during summer were worked out with the sector, virologists and the three Regions.
“A safe environment and without compulsory testing,” he tweeted. “That’s how we envisage accessible youth movements.”
The Flemish Youth Council also emphasised the solidity of the summer protocols for youth activities open to all. “Compulsory testing is not part of it,” the organisation stressed.