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Flanders is pushing for these relaxations on Friday

Credit: Belga

After a “time out” of a week, the Flemish government will be pushing for a number of relaxations at the upcoming Consultative Committee meeting on Friday.

Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon already stated that last week’s expected relaxations could be approved this Friday, but several other Flemish ministers are also calling for new relaxations.

Specifically, Jambon referred to the expansion of people’s outdoor social bubbles from four to eight or ten people, as well as the introduction of the so-called “kot” bubbles for students living together in shared spaces.

“You cannot even really call them relaxations,” Jambon’s cabinet told Het Nieuwsblad. “It concerns small measures that are more of an anomaly, but can still give people comfort.”

In addition to larger groups for open-air activities, Flemish Economy Minister Hilde Crevits also wants to give a long-term perspective to a number of sectors, such as the hospitality and event sectors.

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In the shorter term, Crevits wants to allow shopping in pairs again. She is also advocating for a relaxation of the current teleworking obligation, as she said that employees should be able to go back to work once in a while.

Earlier this week, Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts also made a case for full-time education in class for the second and third grades of secondary school (pupils aged 15 to 18).

“These students are now still in a system of half-time distance learning, and this should be able to change after the Easter holidays,” he told Knack. “Higher education students should then also be able to go back to the auditorium once in a while.”

Whether these changes are possible is not sure yet, however, as the figures are not at a level where too many relaxations would be safe yet, according to several experts.

Additionally, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke have repeatedly stressed that everything depends on the evolution of the curves, that caution remains key and that a third wave should be avoided at all costs.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times