Belgium’s Security Council debates reopening schools and markets
Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Belgium’s National Security Council met on Wednesday at 9:00 AM at the Egmont Palace in Brussels to prepare Phase 2 of the country’s deconfinement strategy, which is set to enter into force on 18 May.
The Security Council brings together Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, the main ministers of the federal government and the Ministers-Presidents of the federated entities.
In Phase 2, the partial reopening of schools, the reopening of markets and the resumption of contact professions, such as hairdressers, are envisaged.
“I see a lot of responsibility, prudence and patience. We really have to continue to strictly monitor health conditions if we want to avoid seeing a return of the virus,” said Denis Ducarme, Minister for SMEs and the Self-Employed.
“There are strict conditions that have been suggested by the experts, we will see if the National Security Council intends to adapt these proposals or follow them as they are,” he said about the markets, adding that “it will not be the markets we knew before” in any case.
“The big piece of the second phase is the partial and gradual reopening of schools,” said Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
“Everyone must assume their responsibilities. We are doing everything with the Minister for Education (Caroline Désir) and the sector to organise this reopening, and we thank the school principals and teachers,” he said.
“The experts also believe that this step is good for the children and that many parents also want their children to return to school. This is a physical, social and psychological emergency,” Jeholet added.