The president of the Flemish right-wing N-VA party Bart De Wever hopes that after the Omicron wave, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) can be dropped, he said in a statement on social media.
De Wever’s party, of which Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon is also a member, has always stated that they are not a big fan of the CST, which they believe can lead to a “false sense of security.”
For him, the only potentially valid argument is that it might encourage people to get vaccinated. Within his party, there is a realisation that abolishing the CST in the middle of an infection wave and a campaign around for a booster vaccination is not a given.
“We hope that after the Omicron wave the minds will be ready for abolishing the CST. Especially in regions with a high vaccination rate, the usefulness is very low,” De Wever said, referring to Flanders in particular.
However, the CST will remain a reality internationally (the EU Digital Covid Certificate) for some time to come, and so it will need to remain available for trouble-free travel.
As far as compulsory vaccination is concerned, N-VA wants to enter the debate with an open mind, and with all scientific arguments. “In this country, only one vaccine is compulsory today: the polio vaccine. The bar is therefore historically very high before a compulsory vaccination is legally enshrined.”
Still, De Wever and his party underlined that “we absolutely must continue” to defend vaccination. “First and foremost, for the protection of the individual. With vaccines, science has undeniably achieved a miracle in terms of disease progression and mortality. All reliable figures demonstrate this.”
Additionally, De Wever sees growing optimism about the course of the pandemic among the experts. “The hope is now even openly expressed that we are moving towards an endemic situation.”
“If this hope turns out to be justified, the approach to the coronavirus will eventually resemble the approach to the flu: with a focus on vaccinating especially vulnerable people before the winter season. In that context, the evidence does not point towards compulsory vaccination for the time being.”