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Belgium could make masks mandatory in shops from next week

Credit: Belga

Next week, Belgium’s National Security Council will discuss whether or not face masks should be made mandatory in shops, following the recommendation by the Superior Health Council on Thursday morning.

When the National Security Council meets, next Wednesday, they will review the measures about face masks in shops, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced in the Chamber on Thursday.

“In view of the scientific evidence concerning the usefulness of wearing a mask and the public health emergency,” the Superior Health Council, which is the scientific advisory body for the Federal Public Health Service, recommended the use of masks in shops.

“The experts of the GEES (Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy) are currently working on the issue. They will advise the National Security Council on Wednesday,” Wilmès said.

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“Until then, we will continue to follow their latest advice. I am convinced that they will certainly take the advice of the Superior Health Council into account,” she added.

The last GEES advice dates back to the last Security Council at the end of June, when the use of face masks was not made mandatory, but “highly recommended” in shops.

However, health experts and virologists were already in favour of such an obligation.

Within the government, there is a lot of criticism from the opposition that a decision will have to wait another week, and will not be taken immediately.

“Sometimes it is not difficult. If the advice comes in to wear face masks in shops and crowded places, just call on a zoom-meeting with all the entities, and you just discuss. Waiting another week is an eternity,” said Green MP Kristof Calvo.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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