What’s on the agenda of Belgium’s Consultative Committee tomorrow?
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What’s on the agenda of Belgium’s Consultative Committee tomorrow?

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet early on Friday to evaluate the coronavirus figures and discuss possible new measures for the end-of-year period.

Initially, changes to the measures were not on the agenda for Friday, but as Belgium’s infection figures have been increasing for several days in a row now, that seems to have changed.

While neighbouring countries Germany and the Netherlands have gone back into lockdown, however, no major changes to the current rules are expected in Belgium.

The focus will likely be more on motivating the population to follow to rules already in force, rather than implement extra measures, a federal government source told Het Nieuwsblad.

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Some new rules, however, are still an option. Last week, biostatistician Geert Molenberghs proposed setting up a perimeter. In that case, people would only be allowed to move within a certain radius around their home.

Another topic will be the recent reopening of non-essential shops. As stores in the Netherlands and Germany have closed, some border municipalities are fearing a great influx of people.

Earlier this week, virologist Marc Van Ranst – who is part of the latest expert group advising the government about the measures – said that he hoped for “wisdom and courage” on Friday.

“The figures have to go down, but the current measures are already very strict,” the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told Het Laatste Nieuws. “Certainly in terms of the number of contacts, Belgium is a lot stricter than its neighbouring countries.”

Any relaxations – such as the size of people’s social bubbles and the possible opening of hairdressers was a topic on the agenda before Christmas that some politicians were asking for – are not on the agenda.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times