Flemish Liberal leader leaves options open for widening the scope of the Covid Safe Ticket in Flanders

In an interview with VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ the leader of the Flemish liberals Egbert Lachaert has said that extending the range of activities for which a Covid Safe Ticket is required in Flanders should be considered. Mr Lachaert believes that requiring people that wish to take part in a particular activity to prove that they have been vaccinated against coronavirus, provide a recent negative test result or proof that they have recently recovered from COVID-19 should be considered if the alternative to doing so would be postponement of an event or the enforced closure of businesses.  

From last Friday, the authorities in the Brussels Capital Region made the provision of a Covid Safe Ticket mandatory for people wishing to partake in a range of everyday activities such as going for a drink in a bar, visiting the gym or going for meal in a restaurant. In Wallonia too, the range of activities for which a Covid Safe Ticket is required will be increased from 1 November. However, in Flanders the Flemish Government has said that this is not necessary as the vaccination rate in our region is higher than in Brussels and Wallonia.

Now coronavirus infection rates and the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Belgium are increasing there are growing calls for the Flemish Government to rethink its position on the Covid Safe Ticket. On Wednesday evening the Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) told the VRT that he is in favour of the broadening of the use of the Covid Safe Ticket in Flanders too. 

Currently in Flanders, a Covid Safe Ticket is only required for large-scale events. However, some local authorities, particularly in municipalities near to Brussels would like to extend its use to cover a greater range of activities. In the West Flemish town of Wevelgem, where there has been a large number of coronavirus infections recently, the local authority has made the provision of a Covid Safe Ticket mandatory for those attending events at which more than 100 people will be present.

Mr Lachaert was keen to stress that under normal circumstances the liberals would not be in favour of people being required to provide a Covid Safe Ticket at every turn “We didn’t want a passbook society in a situation where everyone is vaccinated and there is there wasn’t really any reason to panic. This was the case in Flanders until recently. However, of course if we see that the number of infections is rising in Flanders too and if schools have to close and there is a threat that activities have to be cancelled then we should leave our options open”.

Mr Lachaert went on to say that as far as he is aware the Covid Safe Ticket will not be discussed at Friday’s meeting of the Flemish cabinet. 

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