‘We already have tests’: Wilmès opposes mandatory vaccine passports to travel
Share article:
Share article:

‘We already have tests’: Wilmès opposes mandatory vaccine passports to travel

Belgium's Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès. Credit: Belga

Belgium opposes the requirement of a Covid-19 vaccination passport to enter a country, as strict testing rules should already prevent infections from being imported, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès.

The European Commission is working on a “Digital Green Pass” for travel, which will provide proof that a person has been vaccinated or tested, as well as info on Covid-19 recovery.

However, Belgium fears that vaccination will be used as a condition for people to cross borders, if vaccination passports will be required by a country to enter its territory.

“That is not right. Vaccination is not compulsory in our country,” Wilmès told Bel RTL on Tuesday morning.

“We do not want vaccination to become the key to reaching a country,” Wilmès said. For southern countries who want to revive tourism, “a filter already exists, in the form of tests and quarantine.”

Related News:

 

“If you make entry into a European country conditional on the presentation of a passport, you are de facto making vaccination compulsory, or you are discriminating against the ability to travel, which is also wrong,” she added.

When asked how Wilmès’ stance on not restricting freedom of movement is compatible with Belgium’s current ban on non-essential travel, she said that the ban is temporary.

“It is proportional to a problem we have at the moment. We hope to be able to lift this ban as soon as possible,” Wilmès said, adding that it is too early to do so at the moment.

This month, the European Commission will table a legislative proposal for the digital pass, which should make clear what it will look like, President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday.

However, Wilmès already stated that it was “out of the question” that Belgium would link vaccinations to freedom of movement in Europe.

“Respect for the principle of non-discrimination is all the more fundamental because vaccination is not compulsory and there is not yet universal access to the vaccine,” she tweeted.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Consultative Committee will announce latest measures from 6:30 PM
The Consultative Committee will announce the latest changes to Belgium’s coronavirus restrictions in a press conference at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...