Belgian court says enforcing Covid vaccine pass is illegal
The region will be fined until it stops enforcing the policy
A court in Belgium has ruled that a Covid pass policy in a region of the country is unlawful and may be in breach of European law.
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) policy in the region of Wallonia, which had been in place since November across Belgium, was called disproportionate by the court.
According to the Brussels Times, the court ruled in favour of the non-profit organisation ‘Notre bon droit’ (NBD) who brought the summary proceedings against Wallonia after contesting the use of the Covid pass before its introduction.
"The court has ruled in our favour by conceding that the CST does not respect the principle of proportionality," the organisation’s founder Isabelle Duchateau said in a video announcement.
As part of its judgement, the court said the freedom-restricting measure seems to be disproportionate to the objectives pursued, and added that CST policies could potentially be in breach of European law.
It has ordered the Wallonia government to pay a penalty of €5,000 (£4,258) a day until it stops enforcing the use of CSTs.
But the Wallonia Region has said it will be appealing the court's decision and has refused to stop the CST policy.
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Currently in Belgium, people who want to eat in a restaurant or go to the theatre must present a Covid pass, showing vaccination, a negative test, or recent recovery.
The Wallonia government has also been ordered to pay NBD's court costs.
This is not the first success that NBD has had in these cases either. The group previously managed to get CSTs suspended for access to the European Parliament for people who objected to them.
They are also trying to get the policy stopped in the Belgian capital, Brussels. A hearing for that case is scheduled for December 8.
Last month, Belgium tightened its Covid restrictions, enforcing working from home and widening the use of face masks, with cases rising across the country.