Belgium will not go into lockdown today, says Steven Van Gucht
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium will not go into lockdown today, says Steven Van Gucht

Credit: Belga

Belgium will not announce another lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country following the Consultative Committee meeting today, according to virologist Steven Van Gucht.

“A new lockdown will not be announced,” Van Gucht told The Brussels Times. “But the measures will definitely be tightened for several sectors.”

These stricter rules will be put in place “precisely to avoid another lockdown like the one in March,” he said. “That would be the ultimate emergency solution, if you can call that a solution, but that is the scenario we want to avoid.”

The essence of a lockdown, explained Van Gucht, is that people stay at home. “In that case, you can only leave your house if you have an essential profession, if you need groceries, or if you need medical care,” he said.

Related News:

 

Earlier this week, the Netherlands also introduced what it called “a partial lockdown,” but Van Gucht does not agree with that phrasing.

“During a lockdown, there is a stay-at-home order. The Dutch measures certainly do not go that far,” he said. “The shops, for example, are still open. Leaving the house to go shopping for clothes, however, is definitely not an essential journey.”

“In the end, [a lockdown] is a failure of the recommendation of restricting people’s contacts,” Van Gucht said. “If that system fails, a lockdown is the only thing left.”

However, despite the experts’ recommendations, the decisions and measures that will be taken are political. “We say that social contacts have to be reduced, it is up to the politicians to see how that can be done.”

On Friday, Belgium’s Consultative Committee, which has replaced the previous government’s National Security Council, will meet to discuss stricter measures against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...