After the meeting was postponed three times in the past two months, Belgium’s Consultative Committee will finally meet on Friday to discuss what to do with the last remaining Covid-19 restrictions still in force.
The ministers will meet digitally from 14:00 to discuss the last measures, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told The Brussels Times. This time, however, there will not be a press conference afterwards.
Since Belgium switched to ‘code yellow’ on the coronavirus barometer in early March, the only restriction still in force for the general population is the face mask requirement on public transport and in healthcare institutions.
As all coronavirus indicators are evolving favourably, and the number of patients in intensive care is expected to fall below 100 this week, it seems likely that the barometer would be “put back in the drawer,” as Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said at the end of April.
However, even if the authorities decide to keep the barometer in place, the obligation to wear a face mask on public transport is expected to be lifted. Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet has repeatedly argued in favour of dropping the measure, and Vandenbroucke is also not opposed to it.
While the mask requirement could also disappear in the healthcare sector, it is not expected to be removed completely, as Vandenbroucke urged to keep the obligation in hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies.
Additionally, extending the legal framework to make it possible to reintroduce the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) after 30 June in case a dangerous new virus variant emerges, could also be on the table. While the authorities are not in favour of imposing the CST again anytime soon, Vandenbroucke wants to make sure the framework is in place in case the situation worsens again.
Whether or not Friday’s Consultative Committee meeting will be the last one is not sure.