Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet early on 18 December
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Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet early on 18 December

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet earlier than initially planned, on 18 December, to evaluate the coronavirus figures and assess the epidemiological situation in the country.

The figures will be evaluated thoroughly during the meeting, the cabinet of Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday, adding that the situation was “not evolving in the right direction.”

When Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced the latest measures following the Committee’s previous meeting on 27 November, he also stated that an assessment of the situation would take place in early January, with the measures set to apply until 15 January.

Since then, however, several calls from the French-speaking liberal MR party have risen, with the question to consider possible relaxations or exceptions before the Christmas period, instead of after New Year’s.

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Particularly the size of people’s social bubbles for the holidays and the closure of hairdressers should be assessed before Christmas, according to several MR politicians.

On Sunday 6 December, Vandenbroucke already pointed out that the figures are currently still very high, and that relaxations would not be on the table, but that he “did not see any problems discussing the situation if the Minister-Presidents want that.”

“However, based on the figures, I do not see us reopening businesses that are now closed before the end of the year,” he told local media. “No matter how difficult that may be.”

Also on Sunday, De Croo repeated that the country was not yet ready for any possible relaxations before the new year.

“I hope that we have learned something from the situation last time,” he said on VTM News. “The last thing we need to do now is to give people false hope.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times