A third attempt in the space of three weeks, a third wave of criticism: divided between parties, regions and defenders of this or that interest group, Belgian politicians met again, Friday, December 3, to try to stem a wave of contaminations which reached records in Northern Europe. Barely known, their decisions aroused the skepticism of many experts. Federal Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke himself spoke of a « Disappointing compromise ».
The consultation between the different levels of power has, however, led to some notable decisions and, first of all, the obligation to wear a mask for schoolchildren over 6 years old, including in classrooms. These must be equipped with a CO measuring device.2 and will be closed as soon as two cases of contamination are recorded.
The positivity rate of the youngest children is currently approaching the 25% mark
The specialists recommended an immediate closure of schools for ten days, particularly given the impact of contamination on other sectors: infected by their children, parents are massively absent in transport, the health sector, nursing homes, etc. The positivity rate of the youngest children is currently approaching the 25% mark. School principals and ministers, however, were opposed to the idea of a « Lock-out » complete establishments. In lower and upper secondary schools, less affected, lessons will be given in hybrid mode from Monday, December 6. The measures concerning the universities will be known next week.
Regulated indoor events
Virologists also recommended that restaurants and cafes close at 7 or 8 p.m. The current decisions (closure from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., compulsory health pass) are however maintained: no question of penalizing a sector heavily affected (and largely helped) previously.
All indoor events bringing together more than two hundred people will be banned from Saturday. And those bringing together less than two hundred participants will have to include only seats and establish a distance of 1.50 meters between the groups. « Unfair, I plead for these measures not to be applied », reacted Peter de Caluwe, director of La Monnaie, the Brussels opera house.
For the authorities, there is no question of touching outdoor events
There was no question, on the other hand, for the authorities, of touching the events outside. The organizers are only asked to « Manage the crowd »And the local authorities to organize checks, which have been relatively rare so far. The threat of closed session that hung over football matches has been lifted, contrary to the recommendations of infectious disease specialists. « The environment is safe », argued the Professional League in a statement also evoking, Thursday, the risk of the financial impact for the clubs and that of many job losses.
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