Brussels face mask obligation not sufficient, federal experts say
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Brussels’ regional government’s decision to impose face masks is not a sufficient measure to counter the coronavirus adequately, according to a report by the Celeval expert group, which the daily De Tijd has obtained.
Celeval, which assists the government in deciding the measures to be taken to fight the virus, said it was concerned about the epidemiological situation in Brussels and “considers the generalisation of the obligation to wear masks as the only measure to be insufficient,” it said.
“Face masks are a useful measure in certain densely populated areas,” said virologist and acting president of Celeval, Steven Van Gucht, “but we have the impression that, for the Brussels authorities, the generalisation of the obligation to wear the mask does not require any further measures.”
Van Gucht is also not in favour of closing down cafés in Brussels or tightening the rules.
The virologist and Celeval nevertheless advocate an intensive campaign in Brussels. As in Antwerp, most of the infections in the capital occur in the poorer, densely populated neighbourhoods near the canal.
The spokesman for the Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort says that no new measures are planned for the moment. “The obligation to wear a mask was introduced only five days ago,” he pointed out. “This is not long enough to estimate the impact on the spread of the virus.”
The city reportedly also prefers to wait for the decisions of the next National Security Council, which will happen on Thursday.