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Scope of Covid Safe ticket not to be extended anywhere in Flanders

The Flemish Government has decided that the range of activities for which a Covid Safe Ticket (also known as the “Corona Pass”) is required in our region will not be extended any further. The decision not to extend the scope of the Covid Safe Ticket covers the entire region, including municipalities in Flemish Brabant that are adjacent to Brussels. 

The Flemish Government says that the vaccination rate in Flanders as a whole is sufficiently high and is rising sufficiently in municipalities that are prereferral to Brussels to not warrant a further extension of the range of activities for which participants are required to provide proof of immunisation, a negative test result or recent recovery from COVID-19.  A decision on whether a Covid Safe Ticket will be required for visitors to (health) care institutions has been put back to a later date.  

Last month Belgium’s various governments reached an accord that provides for the extension of the scope of the Covid Safe Ticket. Any decision on what activities require the provision of a Covid Safe Ticket falls under the remit of the three regions. Both the Brussels-Capital Region and Wallonia have already decided that anyone wishing to visit bars and restaurants, or sports facilities must be able to provide a Covid Safe Ticket. In Flanders several Mayors in municipalities that are adjacent to the capital and where the vaccination rate is lower than the average for the region as whole have said that they would like the scope of the Covid Safe Ticket to be extended in their areas.

However, at a cabinet meeting held on Friday the Flemish Government decided not to heed the mayors’ calls. The Flemish Government says that vaccination levels are sufficiently high an this is also the case in the area of Flemish Brabant that is peripheral to Brussels. There are just 4 municipalities in the whole of Flanders where the vaccination rate is below 80% of all adults.   

The Mayor of Vilvoorde, a Flemish Brabant town around 10km north of Brussels, Hans Bonte (socialist) says that the Flemish Government has left local authorities in municipalities adjacent to Brussels in the lurch. “I feel that they (the Flemish Government) have left the local authorities in the Flemish peripheral municipalities and those organising events that want to use the Covid Safe Ticket in the lurch”.

"I would like to enforce the use of the Covid Safe Ticket at our cultural centre, as well as at our care institutions and at events with fewer than 500 participants. The organisers want this too and I would have like to have been able to offer them the opportunity to do so because the vaccination rate is lower here and we get a lot of visitors here from Brussels. I regret that we are unable to impose the Covid Safe Ticket where we believe it to be desirable and useful”, Mr Bonte told VRT News. 

Where is a Covid Safe Ticket required in Flanders?

Those that wish to travel abroad , dance the night away at a discotheque or night club or attend an indoor event with more than 500 present have to provide a Covid Safe Ticket. This is also the case for people that wish to attend outdoor events with more than 750 participants. Children under the age of 12 are exempt. 

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