No revolution. The consultation committee met on Monday afternoon to examine the state of the health crisis and adjust the focus for a few measures. This summer exercise is delicate because Belgium, like many other countries, lives in fear of a wave of contamination from the new version of Covid-19 (the Delta variant). Conversely, government authorities do not want to panic and tighten the screw too quickly. The vaccination plan is progressing very well in Belgium and this must be taken into account.
Deconfinement “step by step” remains the rule
According to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, (Open VLD) presenting at a press conference the measures validated in Codeco, it is a question of sticking to the prudent policy of “step by stepLikewise, the head of the federal government wants to avoid, in his own words, going “on / off” in the measures. Namely, deconfining too quickly and too widely and then having to impose restrictions on freedom to control the increase in contamination.
What do these common sense principles give in practice? As we announced on Monday, Codeco approved a stricter device concerning the health rules governing travel. For example, people who are not fully vaccinated and who are returning from a European country (Schengen area) where a dangerous variant is worryingly circulating – whether that country is coded green, orange or red – will have to take a PCR test on day 1 and day 7 with a mandatory ten-day quarantine if the tests are positive.
Note however that, for the moment, no country in the Schengen zone is in a situation where the circulation of variants is such that this rule should be applied. In addition, the test on day 1 is not necessary if the person in question has already undergone a PCR test within 72 hours before arriving on Belgian territory.
Reinforced controls for travel
Controls on passenger locator forms (the “Passenger Locator Form” or PLF) and digital Covid certificates will be strengthened, especially at airports and train stations. The authorities are careful about this because these documents are strategic in the context of the proper application of the tracing policy.
The Belgian coronapass relieves the event
After the trips, the events. As also announced, the Concertation Committee will extend the scope of the Belgian-style coronapass (the Covid Safe Ticket or CST). From August 13, the CST will be able to be used for events that bring together at least 1,500 people, outdoors initially, also indoors from September 1. Holders of the precious sesame will be able to participate in these events without constraint or social distancing. This coronapass is awarded to people who have a negative PCR test of up to 48 hours, who have been 100% vaccinated for at least two weeks or who have a certificate proving that they have had the Covid. It was originally intended for events of over 5,000 people only.
Important precision: antigenic tests, less reliable, cannot be used in the context of obtaining the Covid Safe Ticket.