Contact tracers have not asked bars and restaurants for client registers yet
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    Contact tracers have not asked bars and restaurants for client registers yet

    Credit: Belga

    Contact tracers have not yet asked establishments in the hospitality industry for records of their customers, Flanders’ Care and Health Agency tells Het Belang van Limburg, a regional newspaper.

    The National Security Council (NSC) has asked cafés and restaurants to keep records since Saturday 25 July, but “at the moment, this data is not yet being requested,” according to the agency. “That will be for in the near future: a matter of days or perhaps weeks.”

    Currently, contact tracers will only ask for the details of people who were sitting at the same table, according to Joris Moonens, a spokesperson for the agency.

    Customers who were in a café or restaurant at the same time as an infected person but at a different table will not be contacted systematically for the time being.

    “First, the structure of the contact investigation has to be in place,” Moonens explained.

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    “The intention is that the contact investigation will work in the short term with so-called case managers.” These managers will investigate each case of an infection more closely, Moonens explained.

    “In the first place, that investigation will focus on parties. For example, a case manager will try to get a list of all attendees at a party,” check that list against the names provided by the infected person and then ask the infected person about any names on the party list that they may have forgotten to provide.

    On Friday, Belgians were warned not to be careless in the face of the new coronavirus, with the message that limiting one’s social contacts was “of capital importance” as “analyses show that infections can often be traced back to social activities such as family gatherings or a barbecue with friends.”

    The message was especially aimed at young people, who are less likely to get severely ill but can still pass the virus on to family or friends.

    Belgium has counted 66,662 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus as of Wednesday, and 9,833 have died from the virus.

    The Brussels Times