Belgian expert wants ‘harmonised’ face mask rule across the country
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Belgian expert wants ‘harmonised’ face mask rule across the country

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s National Security Council should decide on uniform regulations for wearing a face mask across the country today, according to virologist Steven Van Gucht.

“I think we have to go to a harmonisation of some measures,” he told VRT on Wednesday evening. “I am thinking, very specifically, of the face mask obligation. It would be good that we apply it in the same way, so that it can always be explained why it is necessary.”

At the moment, the rules for wearing a mask differ from municipality to municipality, and from city to city, causing a great deal of confusion for many people.

“[Wearing a mask] is sometimes asked at places and moments that we cannot always explain. We have to get rid of that, because it is very detrimental to the support and confidence of the population,” Van Gucht said.

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While wearing a mask is not always necessary, according to him, having one with you at all times is definitely useful. “I think it should be clearly indicated where we should wear it, and that does not have to be always and everywhere,” he said.

On Wednesday, research conducted by the University of Ghent showed that 65% of people in Flanders are no longer motivated to follow the coronavirus measures.

“People have the feeling that certain measures are too strict. Local authorities have become more controlling,” said Maarten Vansteenkiste, Professor of Motivational Psychology at UGent.

“Take the face mask obligation. If you go for a walk with your dog, it has little virological value to wear a mask. But an effort is required. An effort that does not pay off. It costs us energy,” he added.

The National Security Council is currently meeting to review the measures that are in force, and will give a press conference to announce the new measures this afternoon.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times