What’s on Belgium’s Consultative Committee’s agenda on Friday?
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What’s on Belgium’s Consultative Committee’s agenda on Friday?

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet on Friday to evaluate the lockdown measures currently in force and discuss how to celebrate Christmas while still keeping the coronavirus in mind.

When Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that Belgium would go back into lockdown from until 13 December, he also stated that the shutdown of non-essential shops would be evaluated by 1 December.

While the situation is still too worrying to relax the current measures according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, all the trade federations are begging to be allowed to reopen.

Reopening non-essential stores under strict conditions, such as only receiving customers by appointment, is a possibility. According to Minister for the Self-Employed, David Clarinval, the restart of businesses, as well as the hospitality industry, should be “seriously” considered on Friday.

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An extension of the other current measures is also on the table. As previously announced, they are set to remain in force until 13 December, but all model and predictions show that the figures will still be relatively high by then.

In early November, De Croo said that some form of strict measures will have to remain in force “until there is a vaccine” and that relaxing measures too soon leads to more problems in the long run.

Possible exceptions to the measures or slight relaxations to celebrate Christmas – and possible New Year’s – with more people than only your household will also be discussed. However, several experts have already warned that a “Christmas wave” of new infections has to be avoided at all costs.

Lastly, the authorities will likely also discuss a possible target figure of Covid-19 infections and/or hospitalisations, after which some relaxations are possible, to offer the Belgian people some perspective.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times