The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in Belgium did not necessarily increase the vaccination rate, but instead resulted in more coronavirus infections, says microbiologist Emmanuel André.
Belgium imposed the CST to make sure that the events that took place could happen safely, but experts and authorities also hoped that it would raise the vaccination rate in certain areas.
“The CST did not do what was expected of it. It did not so much increase the vaccination rate, but it did lead to more contacts, and thus indirectly to more infections – the two are connected,” André told De Morgen.
When it was introduced, events that required a CST – so people could prove that they are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative or recovered from an infection – were allowed to drop the measures for face masks and social distance.
“Therefore, the CST led to the opposite of what was expected, also because other measures were phased out when it was introduced,” André added.
Recently, however, the Consultative Committee decided that indoor events that require a CST still have to work with a face mask obligation for all attendees.
“Masks, alongside the vaccine and good ventilation, remain one of the most important ways of protecting against the virus,” said André. “Especially if there is a lot of virus circulating, or if ventilation is inadequate. Especially today, the mask is proportional prevention.”