Belgium could decide that hairdressers will be allowed to reopen – under strict conditions – during the Consultative Committee on Friday, according to Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
On Friday 5 February, the Consultative Committee will discuss the possible reopening of hairdressers from 13 February, as was announced during the press conference following the previous meeting.
“The feeling is that this is really becoming a major need for the people, and we are going to see what we can do on Friday,” Vandenbroucke said on Flemish radio on Wednesday morning.
However, he stressed that decisions can only be made based on the country’s coronavirus situation. The number of infections is still high and the situation remains fragile, according to Vandenbroucke. “But the hospital admissions are slowly going in the right direction, and that is hopeful news.”
At the end of January, virologist Marc Van Ranst already said that people should not get their hopes up for a reopening of contact professtions on 13 February, adding that it was “totally unfeasible” with the more infectious virus variants going around.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stressed that once the hairdressers reopen, they should stay open. “It must be for good. We don’t want a yo-yo effect,” he said last weekend, adding that Belgium has tried to ensure stable measures, unlike other countries where further restrictions have been required after relaxations.
A possible reopening for hairdressers, however, would be “an isolated issue” and “should not be seen as the beginning of a whole series of relaxations, because that would be very imprudent,” said Vandenbroucke.
“At a certain point, going to the hairdresser’s becomes a real necessity for some people in order to feel good about themselves,” he added.
The Brussels Times