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    Restarting school will not be decided yet

    Credit: Belga

    Those waiting for an update on when their children can go back to school could be in for a longer wait than anticipated, according to the Minister-President of Wallonia.

    Even if the situation of schools is discussed at the National Security Council (NSC), “nothing can be decided for the moment,” Elio Di Rupo announced ahead of the meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

    Di Rupo was elaborating on earlier comments that Belgian schools could be set to reopen on a yet to be determined date in May. “Something will happen with the schools in May. At which moment isn’t known yet,” Di Rupo told 24-hour news channel LN24. It will be “a gradual return to school,” he added.

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    However, upon entering the meeting, Di Rupo elaborated that “we must first listen to the recommendations of experts, and then what parents, teachers and trade unions say before taking any decision.”

    The priority today “will be to give clear information to citizens about the extension of the containment measures.” he added.

    The National Security Council started at this afternoon and is understood to have concluded already, with a press conference expected soon.

    The potential of pushing back the lockdown a further two weeks to 3 May is likely the main discussion point, as well as the livelihood of summer events going ahead. The industry has said it is expecting clarity over whether major summer festivals will be allowed to go forward after the federal interior minister said at least two festivals be “probably” cancelled.

    The meeting comes amid reports suggesting that residents in Belgium are starting to be less observant of the lockdown measures, with transport companies reporting a rise in suspected non-essential travels, and police reporting a rise in lockdown violations.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times