Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Friday slammed people who refuse to get vaccinated for putting others at risk and hampering a country-wide push to relax restrictions.  

"This epidemic is becoming an epidemic of unvaccinated people, it is not defensible," De Croo told a press conference. 

"Endangering other people is a right which one cannot have."

Belgium has fully vaccinated 84 per cent of adults -- one of the highest rates in Europe.

But there are major disparities between different regions, with the capital Brussels dragging behind on 64 per cent of over-18s fully jabbed. 

The nationwide requirement to wear a mask in public places such as shops and restaurants will be dropped from October 1. 

But the Brussels region will keep the obligation in place. 

It will also look to start requiring a COVID safe pass showing people are vaccinated or received a recent negative test for them to enter enclosed public venues. 

Officials said that between January and some 19,700 people hospitalised with COVID. 

Of those more than 98 per cent were unvaccinated. 

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