The Brussels regional government yesterday agreed to extend the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) to a wider range of situations, starting on 15 October.
The CST is a document which attests to the holder’s Covid health. It is available to those who have been vaccinated, or have recovered from an infection. Alternatives are available for short-term use by those who have recently had a negative PCR test (48h) or antigen test (24h).
From next Friday, the new rules mean it will be necessary to show a valid CST in a variety of social and other situations, on pain of a fine for refusal.
The CST will now apply in the following situations:
Bars and restaurants, nightclubs, sport and fitness indoors, fairs and congresses, culture and recreation and visitors to health institutions.
It is the responsibility of the various premises to organise inspection of the CST for themselves. The rule will be in place until 15 January 2022.
Any member of the public who refuses to comply will, as well as being refused entry, be subject to a fine of between €50 and €500, or more in the case of a falsified CST.
At the same time, organisers of event who refuse or omit to put inspections in place will be liable for a fine of between €50 and €2,500. To make matters worse, the local mayor has the authority to shut down the event or premises for up to three months.
How do I get my CST?
The CovidSafe smartphone app can be downloaded from www.covidsafe.be and installed immediately. Fill in your details and you have the CST on you at all times. Alternatively it can be obtained by post by calling 02 214 19 19.
Where will I need to show it?
The six sectors concerned in Brussels are the catering industry, dance halls and discotheques, sports and fitness clubs, trade fairs and conferences, businesses from the cultural, recreational or party sector, and residential care centres and hospitals.
In hotels, the ticket is only required for events or in communal dining areas or gyms.
In cafes and restaurants, the ticket only applies in indoor areas: if you sit outside on a terrace, or if you only come to pick up a meal, you do not have to show a CST. The ticket is also not mandatory in social restaurants or company canteens where only your own staff can enter.
Who needs to show one?
Anyone over the age of 16, or in the case of rest homes and residential care, over the age of 12.
In cafes and restaurants, only clients and visitors are affected. Staff do not need to show a CST, but they are obliged to wear a mask.
Similarly, the staff of care homes and hospitals need not show a CST, but they do need to be masked. All other visitors, including hairdressers and pedicurists, need to show a CST.
Where does the Ticket not apply?
Apart from the cases mentioned above, the CST does not apply to a work situation, including entry to an office building or to meetings. Even an office party for fewer than 50 people does not require one, as long as those present are all day to day colleagues, and the party is on the premises.
Family parties held at home do not apply, but the CST will be required for a party held in outside premises, whether a restaurant or a rented room.
Finally, the CST is not required in schools or other educational situations, although mask-wearing can be imposed.