The number of vaccination appointments increased five-fold this weekend after Thursday’s decision by the Walloon government to extend the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST).
In just 24 hours after the announcement, 4,000 appointments had been made, compared to an average of around 800 a day before.
Wallonia’s decision will take effect from mid-October, when the CST will be required to gain access to bars, nightclubs, events and residential care centres. The document records when a person is vaccinated, recovered from a Covid infection or has passed a recent negative PCR test.
It will also be required in fitness centres and sports halls, minister-president Elio Di Rupo said.
The measure is intended to give more security to people who are using the premises that require the CST, while convincing those who have so far resisted being vaccinated of the value of doing so.
Wallonia intends to bring its rules into line with the Brussels region, where such stricter applications already exist. Flanders, meanwhile, will discuss the issue this coming week.
In Brussels, figures have shown that the tighter rules on the CST have done little to convince vaccine protesters to change their minds, Inge Neven, head of the region’s health inspectorate, told The Brussels Times earlier in the week.
I think there’s going to be a group of people who have just been holding out on getting vaccinated for some reason, and I think the implementation of the CST is going to be an important move to convince that group,” she said.
“But I think there is also a large group for which this is not going to change anything, I don’t believe many inhabitants of Brussels are going to say ‘okay, now we’re going to get vaccinated’,” she added.
Those who are fully vaccinated (counting only those over 18) number 91% in Flanders, 79% in Wallonia and only 64% in Brussels.