Wearing a mask, health pass, vaccination …: what will be discussed during the Consultation Committee

The consultation committee (Codeco) will meet this Friday at 2 p.m. to decide on the measures still in force, and in particular on the wearing of masks.


Through Writing with Belga

Lhe consultation committee will meet this Friday at 2 p.m. The representatives of the various governments of the country will meet at the Egmont Palace in Brussels to take stock of the evolution of the epidemiological situation and to comment on the measures still in force, in particular the wearing of a mask.

The Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, but also the Flemish Minister-President, Jan Jambon, have spoken in favor of a consequent relaxation of one of the last health measures which affect the entire population, believing that it will not be indicated more than in places not sufficiently ventilated where the proximity between people is too great such as public transport. The idea would be to reverse the current logic and only delimit a few exceptions. Federal Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke was much more reserved. The solution will therefore be a compromise between these trends, we commented Thursday to a good source.

The president of the group of experts who advise the government (GEMS), Erika Vlieghe, warned on Sunday against the temptation to relax the measure too quickly. A GEMS report from Tuesday points in this direction. He sends a warning to political leaders in the face of a rise in contamination and hospitalizations in favor of the fall and asks that an emergency plan be put in place if the situation were to deteriorate. In the eyes of experts, wearing a mask must remain an obligation indoors when people mix with people whose vaccination, immune or test status is unknown, as well as in the event of high density of attendance.

The Minister-President of the Capital Region on Friday judged that it was not possible to remove the obligation to wear a mask in stores. He said he felt supported in this point of view by experts who advocate maintaining the current measure. We should talk without taboo about the vaccine obligation without refusing this debate, said Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort (PS) on Friday morning, interviewed by the Premier (RTBF).

“All means have been implemented to stimulate vaccination. The real question is that we have been revolving around the vaccine obligation for a few weeks. We should talk about it without taboos, without refusing this debate … At one point, we have to force the horse to drink, ”explained the Brussels Minister-President, questioned by the Premier.

For virologist Steven Van Gucht, relaxing the rules for wearing a mask should not be decided this Friday during the Consultation Committee. “The political world always wants to go a little too fast …” he thundered this morning on Radio 1. He explains that we have to wait for the right moment.

Health pass

This also appears in black and white in the preparatory note of the Concertation Committee on Friday: “In order to avoid as much as possible restrictive measures, or even closures, in the event of unforeseen epidemiological circumstances and to be able to respond to them in good time”, the Committee could “initiate a reflection on the extension of the CST to stores, shopping centers and non-medical contact professions (hairdressers, tattooists, beauticians, Editor’s note)”. This would involve launching “the necessary regulatory preparatory work (…) now so that they can be easily implemented if the emergency so requires”. At this stage, Codeco participants are in favor of this project. But parties are opposed to it. Nothing is therefore played.

Crisis phase

Another subject debated: the federal crisis phase which is still in force. Flanders wants to put an end to it, which would allow the Regions to have control. Wallonia and especially Brussels where the vaccination rate is too low and the worrying epidemiological situation are much more reluctant. A date on which this phase will end could be decided even if the idea is to keep an interfederal base, we told good sources.

The last consultation committee adopted a relatively vague wording about the obligation to vaccinate nursing staff. Friday, it should be acted even if the modalities will take a few more weeks to be developed.

On October 1, nightclubs may reopen. However, some in the government do not want to be satisfied with the adoption of protocols but also to foresee sanctions if the measures are not applied.

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