Belgium’s Consultative Committee will announce latest measures from 9:00 AM
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Belgium’s Consultative Committee will announce latest measures from 9:00 AM

Credit: Belga/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will announce new measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus in the country during a press conference at 9:00 AM today, according to the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

The Committee met earlier than planned, on Thursday evening at 8:00 PM via video conference, instead of on Friday, to discuss possible extra measures and update several sector-specific protocols.

As was announced during the press conference last Friday, the protocols for the sports, culture and events sectors are expected to have been adapted to Belgium’s current epidemiological situation, and tightened up further.

A new tightening of the face mask rule – in these specific sectors, or in general – could also be a possibility, as well as extra restrictions for the culture and events sector, concerning the number of people allowed to attend.

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In the Francophone community, in particular, calls are also rising to organise all professional sports games without a public, and to temporarily suspend all amateur sports.

While the focus of the measures is expected to be on the sector protocols, making teleworking entirely mandatory again is also a possibility, as are possible further restrictions for social contacts.

While several experts have said that putting the country back in lockdown would be a good idea, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told the House on Thursday that the government should “show steadfastness and not constantly change [its] strategy.”

Additionally, the “coronavirus barometer” is also expected to be launched. The tool, which has to grade the epidemiological situation at the country, region or province level, was already announced at the last press conference held by then-Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès on 23 September.

After some delays, the barometer was expected to be launched during last week’s press conference, but was not ready yet, as the sector-specific protocols – which were also not ready yet – still had to be added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times