Covid Safe Ticket is ‘no longer justified’ in Wallonia, court rules

Covid Safe Ticket is ‘no longer justified’ in Wallonia, court rules
Credit: Belga

A Namur court ruled that the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is no longer justified in Wallonia, siding with the arguments of the non-profit organisation Notre Bon Droit in one of many legal battles surrounding the CST being handled by the judicial system.

The CST was likely to be suspended anyways following Belgium’s expected change to Code Yellow, Le Soir reports, but now the Walloon Region has 15 days, under penalty of a fine, to take “the measures it deems appropriate to repair the effects of the harmful situation.”

The complaint filed by Notre Bon Droit and a handful of citizens was an appeal against the extension of the CST’s use until 15 April.

Other courts had previously ruled that the CST was legal, despite claims from the plaintiffs that the Walloon Region did not provide enough proof that the advantages of the CST outweigh the disadvantages, in terms of the restrictions to personal freedoms imposed by requiring it to access a number of public and private places.

Unjustified restriction of personal freedom

Plaintiffs argued that the effects of the CST on public health were “very limited, even non-existent according to some scientists” given the high rates of vaccination against the most common variant of the virus.

The court agreed that “the evolution of the pandemic and the state of science no longer allow for the consideration of the imperative need to maintain a regime that infringes fundamental rights and freedoms.”

It also recognised that the CST led to discrimination without objective and scientific justification.

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“We are delighted that the court has based its decision on our clients' arguments and that the CST is a measure that is no longer justified,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs told Le Soir.

“It is time for the Walloon Region to implement the statements made in the press by many politicians to the effect that this measure should not exist one day too many. Obviously, the day of too much has arrived.”

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