Small parties should return ‘as normally as possible’ soon, says Verlinden
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Small parties should return ‘as normally as possible’ soon, says Verlinden

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By the end of August, Belgium’s Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden wants to examine whether smaller parties, such as weddings, can soon be organised under normal circumstances again.

While larger events can be organised with the Covid Safe Ticket again from 13 August, however, Verlinden does not want to introduce that access system for smaller parties right away.

“These are things that people have been looking forward to for a long time now, to have them take place again in normal circumstances,” she said on Flemish radio on Tuesday.

As 70% of the entire Belgian population has received their first vaccine shot, the Consultative Committee will meet again later this month to discuss the promised “empire of freedom.

“So I think we should really look into that,” she added, referring to gatherings like weddings, smaller dance parties and baptisms.

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In the meantime, outdoor events with more than 1,500 visitors can take place without keeping a social distance or wearing face masks with the Covid Safe Tickets from 13 August.

With the certificate, people can prove that they have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, have tested negative, or have recently recovered from the coronavirus in the past six months.

However, Verlinden is not immediately in favour of using this system for wedding parties, where dancing – which is currently not yet possible – would be allowed again.

“We have always made the choice not to evolve into a kind of ‘pass society’ where you have to show for each activity that you have been vaccinated or undergone a test,” she said.

Verlinden also sees arguments in favour, however, as “it is time to allow as many normal activities as possible, to take place in conditions that we all find most comfortable.”

“So I think we should evaluate, at the end of August, whether we can move to a system where smaller activities can take place freely, without having to keep too many rules, face masks, distance or numbers in mind,” she added.