Tomas Sisk / Photo News

“Covid passport in hospitality in Brussels from October”

It’s more or less certain now that customers will have to produce their Covid Safe Ticket if they wish to gain access to bars and restaurants in the Brussels Region starting 1 October.  The ticket – usually generated on the CovidSafeBE app - proves you are fully vaccinated, have antibodies after recovery from Covid or had a recent test.

Last night Belgian governments struck a deal allowing Belgian regions to introduce the requirement.  Requirement for the Covid passport in hospitality is expected to be introduced in Brussels due to the poor take up of the corona vaccine in the Belgian and Flemish capital.

Brussels PM Vervoort first spoke of introducing the passport in August.  Due to poor vaccination rates Brussels also had to postpone the far-reaching relaxations of corona restrictions that steamed ahead in Flanders and Wallonia.

The federal and devolved governments have reached an agreement in principle setting out how and when the passport can be used.  The passport won’t be required across the country, but regions can decide for themselves whether or not to introduce the requirement. The Covid Safe Ticket can be needed to access hospitality, sports and gym facilities, nightclubs and cultural meeting places like theatres and cinemas.

The deal reached on Tuesday still needs to be approved by the various governments and will go to a meeting of the consultative committee grouping Belgian governments that has the final say on corona measures.  A digital meeting of the committee is planned.

VRT News understands the Brussels Region intends to introduce the requirement for everybody aged 16 and over to produce a valid Covid Safe Ticket to access bars, restaurants and clubs that reopen on 1 October.  Everybody aged 12 or more will have to do the same to visit care homes for the elderly, hospitals and mass events.  There is no talk of requiring the ticket to go into shops or schools.

Flanders and Wallonia point to their vaccination levels and argue a similar requirement isn’t needed there.  Brussels hopes to emulate the headway made in Italy and France were many people got vaccinated after the passport was introduced as a requirement to access numerous venues.

In Flanders 89.4% of adults are fully vaccinated.  For Wallonia the figure is 76.6%. In Brussels only 62.1% of adults are fully vaccinated.

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