A top Belgian virologist has called on university students to limit trips back to their hometowns during the weekends to limit coronavirus risks as a new academic year kicks off.
Ahead of the start of the opening of Flemish universities next week, virologist and government advisor Marc Van Ranst called on students who could to remain on campus at the weekends.
“If possible, limit traditional weekend trips home,” Van Ranst wrote in a Twitter thread. “This limits the number of transmission opportunities for the virus.”
“In many countries, students stay on campus for months,” Van Ranst added, also urging students to remain wary and respect coronavirus measures both on and off-campus.
“When you go home, be careful when interacting with your parents and grandparents,” he wrote.
Beste studenten, ik wens jullie graag een fijne start van het nieuwe academiejaar. En het zal zeker een speciaal jaar zijn waarover jullie later aan jullie kleinkinderen gaan vertellen. Een jaar waarin jullie hoorcolleges in auditoria zullen afwisselen met online lessen (1/6)
Van Ranst comments come as universities across Belgium gear up to start a new academic cycle amid as the government strives to balance out health concerns and spikes in the number of new cases with a will to revive economic activities.
Most universities across Belgium will begin the new school year under code yellow —the second-lowest risk level in terms of risks of coronavirus transmission— but so far at least three Flemish universities have announced plans to activate code orange.
Van Ranst urged students returning to the classroom to keep observing the coronavirus rules warning that Covid-19 was “no fun for young health students either.”
“Washing hands, keeping your distance, and wearing mouth masks are a necessary part of the routine during this academic year.”