Deconfining for Christmas isn't worth a third Coronavirus wave, warns PM 

Deconfining for Christmas isn't worth a third Coronavirus wave, warns PM 
Credit: City of Brussels

Belgium will likely be celebrating Christmas with only immediate family members Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has said, suggesting no impending relaxation of rules to any great extent

"By Christmas, the coronavirus will still be there and people won't have been vaccinated either," De Croo told the talk show Vandaag on Wednesday. "The holidays are a period of being together and sharing beautiful memories. Surely we are not going to do that at a time when we are still dangerous to each other? Christmas this year will definitely not be the same as it used to be".

For his part, De Croo said he will choose to celebrate Christmas with just his wife and two children. "The last thing we want is for there to be a Christmas wave later. If we are careless around Christmas, that will be the result after three or four weeks. Surely we are not going to put each other in danger at a party that revolves around security?"

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Currently, no official decision has been made on Christmas in Belgium. The closest interpretation would be the so-called 'cuddle contacts' - which would allow one additional contact into the homes at a time.

Speaking in December, virologist Marc Van Ranst raised hope that groups can incrementally grow by the end of the year.  “Maybe we can go from 1 to 2 cuddle contacts,” Van Ranst told Radio 1, adding that “it won’t be an ordinary Christmas”.

“We have to resign ourselves to that. Political circles are thinking about it, with a decision on this or the next Consultative Committee, but everyone realises that the situation is still serious,” he added.

Current measures, including the cuddle contact, will apply until 13 December.

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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