End of compulsory mouth masks in public transport and PLF for most journeys
The corona barometer, which had been on code yellow since March this year, will be deactivated. This has been decided by the Consultative Committee. As a result, the obligation to wear a mask on public transport will disappear from Monday 23 May, as will the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for most journeys.
The obligation to wear a mask is abolished everywhere except in hospitals, medical cabinets and pharmacies. Therefore, one no longer has to wear a mouth mask in public transport. The mouth mask is still recommended in very crowded places or in care environments such as residential care centres or at the dentist's, physiotherapist's, psychologist's or speech therapist's.
Proper ventilation of indoor spaces also remains highly recommended, as it is a powerful weapon against virus transmission and is generally good for our well-being, health and productivity.
The ban on non-essential travel from outside the European Union is lifted. The testing requirement on days 1 and 7, the 10-day quarantine and the requirement to present the Passenger Locator Form and a valid vaccination, recovery or test certificate are also lifted. However, this does not apply to travellers coming from a country with a new 'variant of concern'. For them, the current rules continue to apply.
The relaxations are the result of the continuing downward trend in the number of infections and new hospital admissions, for both the reproduction rate remains below 1. The number of intensive care beds has also been fluctuating around 100 for some time, and is therefore well below the threshold of 300.
Lines of defence
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lines of defence have clearly been strengthened, including testing, contact tracing, vaccination, ventilation, health care capacity, pandemic surveillance and mental health care. The committee wants to anchor these lines of defence in a sustainable way and is seeking advice from the Covid contact point, which will work closely with the states to this end.
The IMC Public Health will investigate whether and how an additional booster shot can provide better protection against a possible new wave. Minister of Health Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) will further investigate the epidemiological added value of the Corona certificate and its place in the barometer.
© BELGA PHOTO Jasper Jacobs