The Christmas holidays and end-of-year festivities in Belgium will most likely take place with the coronavirus restrictions that are currently in force, according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
While he previously made it clear that there would be no relaxations before Christmas, Vandenbroucke said that the rules will likely not be tightened for the holidays either.
"There will be no maximum number of people you can invite in your house," he said on VRT's 'De Afspraak' television programme on Thursday evening.
"We are not going to send the police in, but we rely on people's common sense and insight," Vandenbroucke said, adding that it is a good idea to do a rapid test before meeting up with friends or family members either way.
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He repeated that he does not expect any relaxations at the Consultative Committee next Wednesday. "We are in a context where we cannot relax. There are too many people in the hospitals and the pressure is very high. Suppose there is an Omicron wave soon, you cannot ease up on the measures now."
However, he also repeated that while it is likely that the current measures will remain in place, extra restrictions cannot be ruled out entirely. "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Omicron is the big unknown. If things suddenly go fast in the UK, you have to be able to shift gears quickly."
The Consultative Committee is set to meet on Wednesday 22 December, and will discuss mandatory vaccination and changes to the Covid Safe Ticket (CST), among other things.