Share article:
Share article:

Flemish government considers ‘corona pass’ from 11 July

Credit: UZ Gent

The Flemish government is considering introducing a system with a “corona pass” to give people in Flanders back some freedom from 11 July, according to Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke.

With such a “corona pass,” people who have been vaccinated or who have recently tested negative for the coronavirus will be entitled to do more, such as go to the cinema or a restaurant, explained Beke.

“When everyone has had the chance to be vaccinated, we must dare to give back the freedom that we have taken away from people,” he told VRT, putting forward the date of 11 July, when Flanders aims to give all adults in the Region their first dose, to introduce the system.

According to Beke, “the time has come to talk about it now.”

The pass should not be reserved exclusively for those who have already been vaccinated, but could also mean freedom for those who were unable to get the shot for medical reasons, he said. “There are alternatives for that, they can present a negative test, for example.”

Related News:

 

Additionally, introducing a “corona pass” would not come down to making vaccination mandatory, according to him, but it could be “an incentive and encouragement” for everyone to get vaccinated.

In Denmark, the “corona pass” system is already being used, and people can use it to show that they have either been fully vaccinated, have tested negative in the previous 72 hours, or have tested positive two to 12 weeks earlier, indicating immunity to the virus.

With it, Danish residents can use various services, such as hairdressers, massage parlours, beauty salons, tattoo studios, tanning salons and driving schools.

On Sunday, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort already stated that he is in favour of introducing a similar system in Belgium, but also stressed that the entire population should have had the chance to get vaccinated first.

However, some experts already spoke out against the possibility, saying that it would be in violation of the country’s anti-discrimination laws, as the vaccination campaign does not reach certain population groups.

“For example, there is a mental gap, a digital gap, or people have certain religious or philosophical beliefs about vaccines,” said discrimination expert Dominique De Meyst.

According to her, there are “also less drastic ways to give people their freedom back, but without discriminating against certain groups.”

In an opinion issued on Monday, Unia (the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism) also stated that it would be “problematic” if these groups would be excluded from essential services such as housing, health care, banking and insurance.

According to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, an opinion is currently being drafted on whether or not to introduce certain relaxations for people who have been vaccinated by a special GEMS working group, which includes lawyers, ethicists and sociologists.

“This opinion will soon be forwarded to the ministers and policymakers who will look into it and make a decision,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“At the moment, about one-third of the adult population in Belgium has received a first vaccine dose, so the majority of people are not yet protected,” Van Gucht said, stressing that this is “definitely” something to take into account when creating rules for vaccinated people only.

“If and when the situation improves in the near future, it will be possible to relax the rules for everyone anyway,” he said. “And maybe a little extra for the vaccinated, but that advice will still be published.”

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...