Aalter launches digital registration system in bars and restaurants

The East Flemish town of Aalter has launched a digital registration system for customers of its bars and restaurants. Under the measures in force to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus customers in bars and restaurants in Belgium are obliged to give their names and contact details. This is to enable them to be contacted if someone in the bar or restaurant that they have visited has tested positive for the virus. Up until now people details have been written down by hand on forms. 

However, in Aalter the registration process can now be done by using the customers’ identity cards. Identity cards have a chip that contains information that can be read and if needs be stored. In the case of the system that has been launched in Aalter the data recorded will be deleted after 14 days. The system is easy to use. You simply put your identity card into a card reader and type in your telephone number.

The Mayor of Aalter Pieter De Crem (who is also the Federal Inferior Minister) told VRT News that "This means that there is a lot less hassle with forms and paperwork". The Christian democrat politician added the "The data is stored for 14 days and will only be used for public health purposes”.

The system can also be used to give your particulars if you visit Aalter Town Hall or one of the town’s weekly markets. It makes contact tracing much easier.

"It is to everyone’s advantage. The registration processes runs more smoothly for the customers and the trader and if there are issues with infections afterwards it is much easier to contact those concerned”, Mr De Crem added. Aalter is the first municipality in Belgium to use the system. Mr De Crem hopes that other municipalities will follow his town’s lead. 

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