The city of Liege and surroundings has banned all events planned to take place between now and the end of June, according to the non-profit Liège Métropole, which groups together the 24 mayors of the area.
The communique left no doubt: the ban covers all events, “small, medium or large, public or private, outside or indoors”.
The decision, the organisation said, is intended to “avoid any exposure by organisations to needless expense, and to not be seen to be counting on the possibility of a return to normal between now and 30 June.”
Although the current period of confinement is due to end on 19 April, the possibility of an extension until 3 May has already been proposed by the government. And in fact, the advice of experts and the creation of a committee to plan the end of confinement would suggest that the return to normal will come in stages rather than overnight, with the full dismantling of the measures coming later rather than sooner.
At the same time, the mayors announced the acquisition of 200,000 surgical masks and 10,000 of the higher quality FFP2 masks. The latter version will be reserved for the hospitals of the area, while the surgical masks will go to care homes, physiotherapists, pharmacists, home nurses, vets, ambulance personnel, funeral workers and communal staff in contact with the public.
Also in Liege, the city and its social aid agency CPAS have decided to lodge homeless people in one of the city’s parks, Parc Astrid, where they will be given the use of one-person tents.
About 70 tents have been provided by the city, set up at a proper distance from each other. The city will also provide meals, washing facilities and a medical presence provided by the Red Cross.
Some 90 people make use of the facilities each day, and about 80 of them have been tested for the virus. Two were found to be infected, and have been placed in isolation in a nearby building. If their condition should deteriorate they will be moved to hospital.
Mike, one of the homeless people living in the park for the time being, was optimistic about the situation, he told the RTBF.
“At the end of the day we might be luckier that the people stuck at home, because at least we’re out in the fresh air,” he said. “At least we don’t have to air out the house. We have everything. We’re fine here.”