Coronavirus: Belgian experts propose 'flexible' social bubbles

Coronavirus: Belgian experts propose 'flexible' social bubbles

A committee of coronavirus experts has come up with a plan to tighten or relax social contact rules in Belgium depending on the situation in a particular province.

The Celeval group of experts advising the government has proposed doing away with nationwide rules on social contacts and replacing them with a flexible and more local approach.

In a new report drawn up ahead of a National Security Council on Wednesday, the expert group suggested that the size of Belgium's so-called social bubbles be linked to indicators such as the number of coronavirus hospitalisations in a given province.

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The move would aim to make the rules on social contacts more flexible and would be based on a colour-code system similar to that already used for travel and education, Belgian media reports.

Under this system, social-bubble sizes and social contact rules would therefore differ from province to province if the coronavirus situation is more serious in, for example, the Brussels-Capital Region than the Antwerp province.

The proposal was discussed during a health consultation committee ahead of the NSC on Wednesday, with details still unclear on the functioning of the colour-code risk system, with concerns raised that it could further complicate rules.

"At this time, there are already dozens of colour-code systems — for education or for travelling, for example— and they all differ from one another," an unidentified source said, RTBF reports.

The Brussels Times

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