We will not regain our freedom without ‘corona pass,’ says Vandenbroucke
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We will not regain our freedom without ‘corona pass,’ says Vandenbroucke

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It will not be possible for people to regain their freedom without some kind of “corona pass” in Belgium, according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

European regulations on the ‘Digital Green Certificate’ to enable safe travel in the EU is on the way, he said in the Chamber on Wednesday. It will contain information about whether someone has been vaccinated, has recently taken a Covid-19 test or has been infected with the virus in the past, indicating immunity.

Any application of the Certificate in Belgium, however, will also require Belgian legislation, Vandenbroucke stressed.

The Covid Safe Ticket for mass events – such as festivals – will work on exactly the same principle as the EU’s certificate or passport. “I am not interested in the terminology,” said Vandenbroucke. “But without such an instrument, it will not be possible to regain our freedom.”

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In any case, it will not apply beyond the end of September, let alone for a visit to a bar or restaurant, Vandenbroucke said, echoing statements made by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo during the Consultative Committee press conference on Tuesday.

De Croo said that it was “very important” that this does not open the door to a society that uses some kind of system to see if people are allowed to do something.

“So [for festivals], we want to make use of an opportunity that already exists to have very large events this summer,” he said. “But it is absolutely not the intention that we will be using such a system to do everyday things later on or next year still.”

Additionally, Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès also stressed that this ‘Covid Safe Ticket’ will be a “one-off, temporary and exceptional document” to ensure events can be organised safely.