The Consultative Committee approves the corona barometer, code red as of 28 January
The Consultative Committee approved the corona barometer today. The measures based on the barometer will come into effect on Friday, 28 January under code red. The booster vaccine will be added to the Covid Safe Ticket after 1 March.
The Consultative Committee noted that the number of infections continues to rise sharply. The reproduction rate for infections and hospital admissions is still higher than 1, indicating an increased spread of the virus. The number of hospital admissions is also increasing, while the number of ICU beds occupied by COVID patients is still slightly decreasing. This shows that the omicron variant is less pathogenic but significantly more contagious.
- Corona Barometer
The Corona Barometer is intended to be a proactive policy development and communication tool and should provide more predictability to the industries involved, structure the decisions of the Consultative Committee and render those decisions more transparent.
Code yellow, orange and red
The Corona Barometer has three phases reflecting the pressure on our health care system:
- code yellow: the epidemiological situation and pressure on hospitals is under control;
- code orange: pressure on the health system is increasing, requiring an intervention to reverse the trend;
- code red: high risk of health system overload.
To determine the relevant code, the Consultative Committee will consider, in addition to the pressure on our health care system, an overall assessment of the epidemiological situation and will pay particular attention to mental health.
The barometer focuses on public events, the catering industry and recreational activities. A distinction is made between indoor/outdoor and non-dynamic/dynamic activities. Other industries may be added at a later date. Schools and social contacts will not be part of the barometer.
- Code Red from January 28
Considering the rapid increase in hospital admissions, the high positivity rate and the strong circulation of omicron resulting in an increasing number of absences in schools, businesses, health care sectors and public services, the Consultative Committee has decided to launch the barometer under code red as of 28 January with the following measures
- Public events
Public events such as theatre plays and football games will be permitted indoors and outdoors, with the exception of dynamic indoor events such as dances.
Everyone must wear face masks, both indoors and outdoors. The CST is mandatory for 50 or more participants indoors and 100 or more participants outdoors.
A maximum capacity of 200 people is always allowed. An occupancy rate of 70 or 100% is allowed for larger rooms as long as the air quality is kept below 900 ppm.
Weddings and funerals are allowed as they are today.
- Hospitality industry
Closing times for the hospitality industry are extended to midnight. Face masks must still be worn by clients and staff and the CST is mandatory. In addition, the rules related to capacity of 6 people per table and the ban on standing consumption remain applicable. Nightlife establishments and clubs (indoor/dynamic) remain closed.
- Group activities
Youth movements, associations and sports clubs are allowed to organise non-professional group activities. The maximum capacity is 80 people indoors and 200 people outdoors. For camps, overnight stays are allowed.
- Opening of a series of indoor activities
With the exception of nightclubs and dance halls, the following indoor areas that are currently closed will be allowed to reopen to the public: amusement parks, indoor playgrounds, animal parks and zoos, subtropical pools and recreational areas of pools, trampoline parks, bowling and dart rooms, snooker and billiard rooms, paintball centers, laser games, escape rooms, casinos, arcades and betting shops
- Working from home, shopping and wearing a face mask
The current measures regarding working from home (four days a week), safe shopping and wearing face masks continue to apply.
Validity of the vaccination certificate from 1 March
A booster dose is an important protection against the virus. As a result, the Consultative Committee has decided to reduce the validity of the vaccination certificate in the Covid Safe Ticket from 270 days to 150 days, effective 1 March. The validity of the booster dose is not limited in time.
This means that anyone who was vaccinated before 1 October with a single dose (Janssen only) or two doses (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford) must receive a booster dose before 1 March. Otherwise, their vaccination certificate will expire.
The validity of the recovery certificate will also be extended to 150 days.
These changes only apply to those over 18 years of age.
Extension of the emergency epidemic situation ("pandemic" act)
The RAG risk analysis and the COVID-19 commissioner's opinion show that the cumulative legal criteria are still met at this time and that a federal approach is still required.
The Consultative Committee notes the extension of the emergency epidemic situation by three months, until 28 April 2022. This emergency situation will be assessed at regular intervals.
Increased vaccination rates
Finally, the Consultative Committee also took note of the COVID-19 Commissioner's paper on increasing the vaccination rate, as well as the opinion sought.
The Consultative Committee invites governments to put this issue to their parliaments for a swift parliamentary debate. Parliaments are also asked to assess the epidemiological value of the Covid Safe Ticket and its usefulness in managing the pandemic.
 New hospital admissions/day: below 65, ICU occupancy: below 300 beds. The trend of the numbers must always be taken into consideration, to possibly change phases more quickly.
 New hospital admissions/day : 65-149, ICU occupancy: 300-500 beds. The trend of the numbers must always be taken into consideration, to possibly change phases more quickly.
 New hospital admissions/day: more than 150, ICU occupancy: more than 500 beds. The trend of the numbers must always be taken into consideration, to possibly change phases more quickly.