Exit plan: Belgium stops holding press conferences daily
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    Exit plan: Belgium stops holding press conferences daily

    Credit: Federal Public Health Service/Youtube screengrab

    As Belgium will enter the first phase of its exit plan on Monday 4 May, the daily press conferences by the Federal Public Health Service will be scaled back to three times per week.

    “We notice that the need for information is changing along with this new phase. There is clearly a shift in the information need, as people have more questions about how the return to the new normal will go, and are asking more work-related questions,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre on Thursday.

    The press briefing, which took place every day at 11:00 AM, except on Sundays, will now only take place times a week. “From now on, this information moment will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, still at 11:00 AM,” said Stevens, adding that an update of the figures will still be published on the info-coronavirus.be website every day.

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    However, as tomorrow 1 May is a holiday, the first press conference will be held on Monday 4 May.

    The various public services will also continue to communicate about every aspect of society in the coming weeks and months, to guide people as much as possible in this exit process, according to Stevens. “We will also keep you informed via our various social media channels and the information number. We need to do this together,” he added.

    Translation: “The first phase of the adaptation of the measures will start on 4 May. In concrete terms, what will change? Together we will make safe progress.”

    Since it was put in place, the information number (0800 14 689) received over 315,000 calls with coronavirus-related questions. The website has been consulted over 11 million times, and 2,000 get answered via social media every day, according to the Crisis Centre.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times