Coronavirus: Inviting friends over still not allowed, says De Block
Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: Inviting friends over still not allowed, says De Block

Credit: Piqsels

Federal Minister for Public Health Maggie De Block calls on everyone to keep respecting the lockdown measures, despite their enthusiasm to return to normal life as soon as possible.

The enthusiasm is understandable, according to De Block, but people should remain cautious, even if the measures to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) are beginning to take their toll. “As a doctor and as a minister, I am very concerned,” she told Het Nieuwsblad, adding that “the virus is still on its way around the world.”

She compared the future relaxing of the measures with the cast that is removed after a broken leg has healed. “It feels like a huge relief, but you have to take it easy for a while. If you start running and jumping immediately, chances are you’ll be back in the hospital right away,” De Block added.

On Friday, the National Security Council will meet to discuss the next phase of the lockdown measures. De Block is also part of that Council, which will have to decide on Belgium’s exit strategy, but she is afraid people’s expectations are too high.

Related News:


“People want to pick up their social life again, be with family and friends, have a barbecue, especially with the warmer weather now,” De Block said. “But the virus is not gone yet. If, in all our enthusiasm, we let go of all the measures, we are giving it every chance again. That would nullify all the efforts of the health sector in recent weeks,” she added.

When asked about the experts’ recommendations to leave the lockdown, of which a draft version was leaked on Wednesday, and specifically on the possibility to meet with a fixed group of up to 10 people, De Block said that they “did not mean inviting friends over and throwing parties.”

She clarified that this would always concern the same group of people, and that the aim was to allow people to get together with family, children and grandchildren. “Especially for older people, it is difficult to only see their family members through the window. I understand that they miss their grandchildren,” De Block said.

“That is why we want to allow more contact now, although not with everyone and not every day. First with the limited circle of family. We’re not partying yet,” she added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Floating solar farm to be built along Ostend coast next year
Dutch company Oceans of Energy has announced plans to construct a solar farm off the coast of Ostend next year that should eventually provide enough ...
Trial against Deliveroo begins in Brussels
The Labour Court of Brussels will hear a case on Thursday involving 27 couriers for Deliveroo, who are suing the platform for precarious working ...
Belgium switches to winter time this weekend (yes, again)
This weekend, Belgium will once again change the clocks from summer to winter time, meaning that at 3:00 AM, the clocks will go back one hour, ...
Turkey gets green light to join EU schemes, UK still waiting
On Wednesday, Turkey was given the go-ahead to join the EU’s flagship research, education and youth programmes while the United Kingdom’s bid to stay ...
‘Too much, too quickly’: 40% of burnout patients given antidepressants
The process of diagnosing burnout among people in Belgium is too slow, while too many antidepressants are being prescribed too quickly to people ...
Travel confidence: 2 in 3 Europeans plan to travel in the next six months
Demand for travel is strong across Europe despite the end of the peak summer season, with 2 in 3 Europeans planning to travel in the next six months. ...
Brussels metro: strikes continue to cause delays
Strike action by metro staff continues to cause delays on Brussels metro lines M1, M2, M5, and M6. This follows from Wednesday's strikes, organised ...
New police team will investigate mobile phones of trafficking victims
From now on, a new police team will systematically examine the mobile phones of victims of human smugglers in an effort to track down the criminals ...
Thousands of travellers could face delays at Brussels Airport due to action
The around 50,000 travellers expected by Brussels Airport in Zaventem on Friday could face delays as the police at the border controls are planning a ...
Face masks re-introduced in certain grades of Flemish primary schools
The wearing of face masks will once again be mandatory for pupils in the fifth and sixth years of Dutch-speaking primary schools, starting from ...
Push backs of irregular migrants: Is the Commission turning a blind eye?
The situation at EU’s external borders with Belarus continues to raise concerns about  human rights and humanitarian aid but it is difficult for ...
Covid-19 infections, deaths and hospitalisations continue to rise
The number of coronavirus infections, as well as the number of deaths and hospitalisations as a result of it, is continuing to increase in Belgium. ...