Now I’m by no means a communications expert, but not telling citizens that coronavirus measures are being extended by over a month seems like a bad call – even if it is only a “worst-case scenario.”
Yet that is exactly what happened when Belgium’s coronavirus measures were announced, or not announced, in the new Ministerial Decree that was published on Tuesday.
So, for now, Belgium’s current measures against the spread of the coronavirus will be extended until 1 March – unless that changes, which it totally could. The extension was not announced as “it is only a formality,” Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said on Wednesday morning, adding that the date of 1 March is “not set in stone.”
The new change is a “worst-case scenario,” Verlinden explained, before immediately adding that the government “certainly does not want to relax the measures too soon.”
So in recap, this extended deadline is a formality and a worst-case scenario of a measure which the government does not want to relax too soon.
Flanders will be able to vaccinate all people in Flanders who want to before the start of the summer, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon announced during a press conference on Wednesday.
If the pharmaceutical companies continue to produce and deliver sufficient vaccines, “this will enable us to give all Flemish people who wish to do so at least one shot before the start of the summer holidays,” Jambon said. “And who knows, maybe even more.” Read More.
A sudden spike in infections in Brussels – which saw numbers almost double (+94%) in a week – may have been placed at the feet of travellers, but further information from Sciensano has shown that while they may be at the root of the numbers, it was almost impossible that they were not going to be. Read More.
A court in Antwerp has sentenced Melikan Kucam, former Mechelen city councillor, to eight years in prison for selling humanitarian visas for his own profit.
Kucam represented N-VA on the Mechelen city council when he was given the job of allocating humanitarian visas allowing people in need to come to Belgium. Instead, he decided to use the visas for members of his own religious community of Assyrian Christians. Read More.