BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – The Parliament of Brussels on Friday approved the ordinance that gives a legal basis to corona measures after the federal phase of managing the pandemic was lifted on March 11. That happened though the majority was against it.
According to Health Minister Alain Maron (Ecolo), the writing is necessary to convert the face mask obligation on public transport and in healthcare institutions, which still applies, into Brussels legislation. The decision on this has already been sent to the Council of State, Maron said on Friday. The government had to draft a new ordinance because the legal basis for the Brussels corona measures had disappeared since the federal phase of managing the pandemic was lifted on March 11.
The amendments by MR and N-VA were voted down. The MR wanted parliament to rule on measures taken by the government – the United Board of the Joint Community Commission – that are stricter than those imposed by the Consultation Committee, David Leisterh explained.
Gilles Verstraeten stated that the N-VA amendment aims to introduce a general legal basis by analogy with the Flemish decree on preventive health policy. The United College could take simple measures such as the face mask obligation, social distancing or the use of hand sanitisers.
Measures that affect fundamental rights and freedoms – lockdown, closing time, curfew – can only be taken in extreme urgency, but must then be ratified by parliament within seven days.
Another amendment asked the government to ask parliament a month before the end of a measure to possibly extend it, as provided for with the Covid Safe Ticket (CST). Jan Busselen reiterated that the PVDA opposes the repressive approach to the pandemic. He argued for a reinforcement of the presence on the ground, of the first line, and of the test strategy.