Children under 12 count as ‘cuddle contacts,’ but only indoors
Share article:
Share article:

Children under 12 count as ‘cuddle contacts,’ but only indoors

Credit: Pxhere

Belgium’s coronavirus rule allowing one extra visitor per household for Christmas also includes children under 12 years old, but only if the gathering takes place indoors.

On Wednesday, the Crisis Centre clarified that children under 12 years old also count as so-called ‘cuddle contacts’, meaning that they also count as “full” visitors for the festivities.

When gathering outdoors, however, children under 12 are not included in the group of up to four people that are allowed to gather in your garden to celebrate, while still respecting the distance and hygiene measures.

This announcement can complicate plans for Christmas, as households can only have one guest (who has to be the ‘cuddle contact’ of one of the household members), and people living alone can have two, but many thought that children under 12 were still allowed to join as well.

Related News:

 

Most of the confusion stems from that fact that children under 12 have been the exception to a lot of coronavirus measures up until now: they do not have to wear a face mask, for example, they have different rules in schools, and they can play in groups on playgrounds.

In practice, this means that grandparents, for example, can have their child over for Christmas dinner, or their grandchild, but not both.

“A while ago, we said that every family member can have one cuddle contact,” Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said on Flemish television programme Terzake on Wednesday evening. “A 10-year-old child who is not part of your own family can also be your regular cuddle contact.”

For clarity, this measure only applies indoors. “When having visitors over and for things like hugging, children are actually the same as grown-ups,” said Vandenbroucke.

Additionally, he stressed that people should not get stuck on the rules, but see the big story. “I know it is difficult, but it is good that the discussion is alive now.”

“The most important part is that people reflect on the essence of the rules, that they should be ultra-cautious, and realise that children can also walk around with the virus,” Vandenbroucke said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Consultative Committee will announce latest measures from 6:30 PM
The Consultative Committee will announce the latest changes to Belgium’s coronavirus restrictions in a press conference at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, ...
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 ...