The Belgian Advisory Committee held a meeting on Friday, January 21, to decide on the new COVID-19 measures and to review the old ones.
Among other things, during the meeting, the committee decided to reduce the validity of vaccination certificates from 270 days to 150 days, starting March 1, in an effort to get more people to get a booster dose of COVID-19, TheSchengen.com reports.
“This means that anyone vaccinated with one dose (Janssen only) or two doses (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford) before October 1 must have received a booster dose before March 1. Otherwise, the certificate of vaccination will expire.” The Committee notes in a press release announcing the new measures.
The committee also states that the validity of the booster dose has not been determined in time yet.
At the same time, during the meeting, it was decided to increase the validity period of redemption certificates from 90 to 150 days. The validity changes for both vaccination and recovery certificates apply only to those 18 years of age or older.
Other EU member states have also shortened the validity of vaccination certificates in line with the EU Commission decision taken on December 21, 2021, according to which member states must issue certificates of COVID-19 vaccines valid for only nine months.
>> Everything you need to know about the new validity rules for COVID-19 vaccination passports for travel in the European Union
Since January 15, Iceland only recognizes vaccination certificates issued in the past nine months as valid only, not the oldest. Whereas in the Netherlands, vaccination certificates will only be valid for 270 days starting from February 1. Some other countries have shortened the validity of vaccination certificates further, such as Greece, which limited the validity of vaccination certificates to just seven months.
At its meeting on Friday, the Belgian advisory committee also decided to ease local restrictions in the country, including here, by allowing theatrical performances and football matches to be held indoors and outdoors, with the exception of indoor-only events such as dance parties.
“Structured group activities such as youth activities, club life and non-professional sports are also permitted. Indoors up to 80 people, outdoors up to 200 people. Overnight camping is allowed,” the commission says.
The country will continue to allow marriages and funerals. In cafeterias, bars and restaurants, the closing time is set until midnight, and there is still a limit to six people per table.
>> Vaccines recognized as valid for travel to Belgium