Belgian Roadside assistance files for temporary unemployment
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    Belgian Roadside assistance files for temporary unemployment

    © Belga

    Belgian roadside assistance provider Touring has filed a request for temporary unemployment for “a limited portion” of its staff, the assistance service announced on Monday.

    Given the measures taken to curb the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, there is much less traffic than usual on Belgium’s roads, so assistance interventions are much less frequent, it explained.

    The VAB mobility organisation, for its part, has said it was operating at full capacity, i.e. about 300 breakdown mechanics, although it, too, reported a slowdown in activity. Freezing overnight caused some drivers to need assistance on Monday morning, “but otherwise, we have seen a reduction by half in the number of such interventions since the start of the measures,” spokesman Maarten Matienko said.

    He explained that services were still guaranteed and that some replacement vehicles were being reserved for health care personnel. “We are guaranteeing their mobility,” Matienko said.

    Touring has also taken measures on behalf of health workers. They may receive free services if they need them, whether or not they are members of Touring, according to spokesman Danny Smagghe.

    The drop in the number of interventions has also been observed at Europ Assistance, which said there were about 70% to 75% fewer than usual. Europ Assistance does not have its own mechanics and garages, but relies on a network of professionals.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times