Covid emergency: CST in Flanders, masks and homeworking are back

Belgium is introducing new measures to combat the rise in coronavirus cases. Starting 1 November the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required in hospitality and gyms in Flanders.  Face coverings become obligatory in public indoor spaces across the nation, while homeworking is once again highly recommended.

Belgium’s consultative committee grouping the country’s many governments that has the final say on corona measures met earlier than planned today.  The challenge was to come up with a raft of measures to stem the rise in corona cases. “Nobody can ignore the figures” PM Alexander De Croo told a news conference.

The CST is being introduced across Flanders. The CST is the Belgian version of the EU Digital Covid Certificate and is available via the Covid Safe BE app.  With the CST you can show you are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative or have antibodies through recent illness.  It will become mandatory to show this in Flemish hospitality and in gyms starting 1 November. The obligation already exists in Brussels.  The Walloon government earlier decided to introduce the measure of its own accord. Until now the CST has only been required to join events in Flanders.

The CST will in future also be required at smaller events: starting from 200 people indoors and 400 outdoors.

Starting Friday 29 October face coverings are mandatory in indoor public settings: in shops, shopping malls, care centres, concert halls, sports centres, libraries and at faith gatherings.

Face coverings are not required where the CST has to be shown.

In hospitality and at gyms staff must wear face coverings.

Homeworking is once again highly recommended.  Only if it is impossible to work from home due to the nature of the work or service you provide should you attend your place of work.

Test centres are to stay open all winter.  Contact tracing capacity will be maintained.

The population at large will be offered a third booster jab if it is scientifically proved that this is meaningful.

The consultative committee has also declared an epidemiological state of emergency for three months.  This activates the new pandemic law that provides a legal basis for today’s decisions.  Parliament will now vote within two weeks.

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