The quarantine rules for children under the age of 12 in primary and nursery schools who have come in contact with an infected person have been eased across Belgium.
This was decided on by the Interministerial Conference on Public Health (IMC) alongside the various Education Ministers. The changes to the measures will come into effect on Monday 27 September, according to Bart Croes, Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke’s spokesperson.
“After a high-risk contact, a PCR test has to be taken on day 1 and day 7. If the result of the test on day 1 is negative, they may leave quarantine immediately,” Croes told The Brussels Times.
“If two infections occur within a period of one week in a class or group without a link outside the class, the entire group is considered a high-risk contact,” he added. Previously, this period was two weeks long.
These changes signify that the same rules now apply to people who are vaccinated, as, according to Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts, “under 12s are considered vaccinated.”
This news comes one day after the official body that coordinates Belgium’s various paediatric organisations called for the current coronavirus measures to be dropped in primary and nursery schools in regions where the epidemiological situation is stable.
The Belgische Academie voor Geneeskunde (Belgian Academy for Medicine) argued that “if it turns out that this abolition poses a risk, we advocate tightening measures for the adults in society in favour of a normalisation of education for our under-12-year-olds.”