Consultative Committee tightens checks on travel
The Federal Government and the Governments of the Federated Entities discussed the corona situation today in the Consultative Committee. The Consultative Committee is happy to see progress with the vaccinations, but remains vigilant.
By the end of August, more than ninety percent of the vulnerable people and more than eighty percent of the adult population will likely be fully vaccinated.
Thanks to the ongoing vaccination campaign, infections are leading to fewer hospital admissions. Still, virus circulation must be prevented to reduce the risk of new variants.
The Consultative Committee maintains the existing Summer Plan, but makes a few changes because the more infectious delta variant is now also dominant in our country.
- The importance of face masks, safe distance and ventilation
The Consultative Committee confirms the importance of wearing a face mask, keeping a safe distance, and adequately ventilating indoor spaces.
With the exception of children under 12 years of age, wearing a face mask remains mandatory in the following circumstances:
- when it is impossible to maintain social distance, according to the principles established in the ministerial decree;
- in shops and shopping centres;
- in the publicly accessible areas of companies, public administrations or associations and of the cultural, festive, sporting, recreational and event sectors;
- conference rooms;
- religious buildings and buildings intended for the public exercise of non-denominational moral services;
- libraries, game libraries and media libraries;
- highly frequented private or public areas, such as shopping streets, markets, annual fairs, flea markets and carnivals, as determined by the competent local authority;
- public transport and stations;
- establishments and places where catering activities are permitted, for both customers and staff, except during eating, drinking, or when sitting at a table;
- when moving in the public and non-public parts of courthouses, as well as in courtrooms and, in other cases, in accordance with the directives of the President of the Chamber;
- during trade fairs, including shows
- during demonstrations.
Face masks may be removed occasionally to eat and drink, and when wearing a mask is impossible due to the nature of the activity.
During events, cultural and other performances, sporting competitions and training sessions, and conferences held outdoors, when the public is required to remain seated, face masks may be removed.
- The applicable travel rules remain in effect.
- A stricter procedure will apply for countries from the European Union or Schengen where dangerous virus variants are circulating, regardless of which colour code applies to the country.
Upon return from such a European high-risk zone, individuals who have not yet been fully vaccinated should take a PCR test on day 1 (leading to a quarantine) and on day 7. The test on day 1 is not required if the person in question has already undergone a PCR test during the 72 hours preceding the arrival on Belgian territory.
A positive PCR test results in a 10-day isolation requirement, which cannot be interrupted.
- Checks on completing the Passenger Locator Form and holding a digital corona certificate will be tightened.
- The Consultative Committee recommends that organizers of youth camps do their utmost to conduct general pre-testing of supervisors and participating young people before departure, to prevent infected persons from participating in the camp.
The Covid Safe Ticket can be used for events with 1,500 people or more and is available to people who are fully protected through vaccination (full vaccination plus two weeks), have a certificate of recovery or a recent negative test.
The Covid Safe Ticket will only be valid for outdoor events of 1,500 people or more starting 13 August. As of 1 September, it will also be available for indoor events.
If the Covid Safe Ticket is used, the rules about the face mask, social distancing and CIRM/CERM restrictions do not apply. However, a crowd-management plan must be in place, health precautions have to be followed, and adequate ventilation (with a CO2 meter inside) must be provided.
- Vaccination rates among healthcare providers
The Consultative Committee confirms the proposals of the Interministerial Conference on Public Health and invites the Health Ministers:
- to update and complete the information about vaccination rates;
- to strengthen consultation with professional groups to further sensitize healthcare providers;
- to give health care providers who have not yet been vaccinated the opportunity to reapply;
- to take the necessary initiatives, in consultation with healthcare institutions and occupational health services, to achieve public reporting of vaccination rates per institution within the fastest possible timeframe.