Handheld smartphone with Covid Safe Ticket

The Covid Safe Ticket: could it be your only ticket to Brussels?

The Brussels regional government has decided to extend the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) beyond the scope of medical services.

On Friday, the 15th of October, those going to Brussels will need to show their CST at various locations other than the hospitals and care centres. This was decided by the Brussels regional government on the 8th of October. This extension is planned until the 15th of January 2022.

What is a CST?

The CST is a digital certificate containing the details of whether an individual has been fully vaccinated for at least fourteen days, has been negatively tested for Covid in the past forty-eight hours, has done an antigenic test, or had recovered from the virus within 180 days of showing the ticket. 

To obtain a CST, download the CovidSafe app on your smartphone from the covidsafe.be website. After filling out your information, you will have a Covid Safe Ticket. 

Who needs a CST?

Everyone from the age of sixteen will need to show a CST in specified areas in Brussels when asked by a policeman, restaurant owners, event organiser, etc.

Where is a CST needed?

As before the 15th, a CST will need to be shown in events exceeding 50 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, hospitals, and care homes. However, as of the 15th several items are added to this list.

You will need a CST in restaurants unless you sit with a maximum of eight people per table on the terrace with a distance of a meter and a half between tables. Additionally, clubs and discotheques, indoor fitness clubs (or outdoor clubs when the limit of 200 people is exceeded), and all recreational and cultural facilities. These include cinemas, museums, indoor amusement parks, concerts, theatres, cabarets, and theme parks with more than 50 people.

There are places where the CST is not needed, such as schools, public transport, shopping centres, public services, and for employees going to their place of work. You also won’t need a CST to get a takeaway, only if you physically sit and eat in the restaurant or café.

Who can ask to see your CST?

Police monitor the use of the CST, but restaurant or café owners, event organisers, venue managers and anyone on the staff who were explicitly asked to check should also be shown the CST when they ask.

And if I don’t show it?

There is a penalty for non-compliance. If the police monitor it and a CST is not shown, there is a fine of between 50 and 500 euros if you are a customer or visitor. The owners or organisers who fail to monitor the CST’s of their visitors face fines of between 50 and 2,500 euros.

There are mixed feelings about the CST. 

Tanishqaa Nikalje, 18-year-old International Communications and Media student at Thomas More, does not oppose the extension of the CST despite spending a lot of her time in Brussels.

‘I personally understand why this rule is being implemented. Since many people don’t want to take the vaccine and a few of them aren’t properly vaccinated and they’re putting everyone at risk.’

She also mentioned that most international students have a translated proof of vaccination which works too, and means that they should not face any problems enjoying their time in Brussels.

Text: Danica Van der Merwe, final edit: Andrei Stiru
Photo: © Danica Van der Merwe