The Belgian Consultation Committee has held a meeting on Friday, January 21, to decide the new COVID-19 measures and review the old ones.
Amongst others, throughout the meeting, the Committee has decided to reduce the validity of vaccination certificates from 270 days to 150 days, starting from March 1, in a bid to push more people to receive a COVID-19 booster dose, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“This means that anyone who was vaccinated with one dose (only Janssen) or two doses (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford) before October 1 must have had a booster shot before March 1. Otherwise, the validity of the vaccination certificate will expire,” the Committee notes in a press release announcing the new measures.
The Committee also explains that the validity of the booster dose has not been limited in time yet.
At the same time, throughout the meeting, it has been decided to increase the validity period of recovery certificates from 90 to 150 days. Validity changes for both the vaccination and recovery certificates apply only to those 18 and older.
Other EU member countries have also shortened the validity of vaccination certificates in line with a decision of the EU Commission taken on December 21, 2021, according to which the member states should make COVID-19 vaccine certificates valid for only nine months.
Since January 15, Iceland recognizes as valid only the vaccination certificates issued in the last nine months, and not those older. Whereas in the Netherlands, vaccination certificates will be valid for only 270 days starting from February 1. Some other countries have shortened the validity of vaccination certificates even further, like Greece, which has set the validity of vaccination certificates at seven months only.
In its meeting held on Friday, the Belgian Consultation Committee has also decided to facilitate domestic restrictions in the country, including here, by permitting theater performances and football matches to be held indoors and outdoors, excepting only indoor events as dance parties.
“Organized group activities such as youth activities, club life, and non-professional sports are also allowed. Indoors up to 80 people, outdoors up to 200 people. Overnight stays in camps are allowed,” the Committee says.
The country will continue to allow marriages and funerals to be held. In cafeterias, bars, and restaurants, the closing time is brought to midnight, and there remains a limit of the capacity of six people per table.