Mayor of Brussels asks people that haven’t been vaccinated to stay away from Winter Wonders

The Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close (Francophone socialist) has said that people that haven’t been vaccinated against coronavirus should stay away from Winter Wonders. Speaking at Monday evening’s meeting of Brussels City Council, Mr Close said that a lot of people were expected to attend Winter Wonders and this could pose a risk to those that are less well-protected against coronavirus.


Winter wonders is the collective name for a group of events, including an open-air ice-skating rink and a large Christmas market, that are held in the centre of Brussels just prior to and during the festive season. Winter Wonders in a big crowd-puller with many tens of thousands of people having visited it in previous years. 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic visitors to Winter Wonders that wish to eat or drink something at one of the many food and drink stalls at the Christmas market will be required to first get a bracelet to put round their wrist. The bracelet will only be given to those in possession of a valid Covid Safe Ticket (CST). 

The stalls will all be on publicly accessible streets and squares and in a recent interview with the Brussels regional news platform Bruzz Mr Close said that it would be impossible to cordon off the entire area in which Winter Wonders will take place, not least given that the Christmas market and other attractions are spread out over a wide area of the city centre.

Speaking at Monday evening’s council meeting, Mr Close said “We advise you not to come to Winter Wonders if you haven’t been vaccinated. There will be a lot of people there, certainly given that other Christmas markets aren’t taking place. People that haven’t been vaccinated would be taking a big risk”. 


Bracelets like those given to festival goers will be issued to those in possession of a valid Covid Safe Ticket. The bracelets will be required if a visitor to Winter Wonders wishes to eat or drink something at one of the refreshment stalls. The bracelets that are valid for one day can be collected from a total of ten distribution points around the city centre. 

A coronavirus testing centre will be set up on the ground floor of the Viage casino on the Anspachlaan.


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