Belgians increasingly seek exemption from wearing a mask
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Belgians increasingly seek exemption from wearing a mask

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General practitioners are receiving an increasing number of requests for a certificate not to have to wear a face mask, Het Laatste Nieuws reports.

An increasing number of doctors actually do write out a certificate for a mask exemption, said Professor of General Medicine Dirk Devroey. This was confirmed by HR service Liantis, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

“Hyperventilation or an anxiety disorder is no reason for me,” Devroey commented. “I don’t recommend it to people with heart failure or asthma either, because by not wearing a mask themselves, they expose themselves to the virus, and they are already so vulnerable.”

In addition, HR service providers report that occupational physicians ask more questions about what to do with employees who come with such a certificate.

However, “there are no guidelines as to when such an exemption is a good idea,” Devroey pointed out.

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At Belgium’s last National Security Council, face masks became mandatory only in crowded places as well as on public transport and in cinemas, for example.

“It is useless to make masks compulsory anytime, anywhere,” then-Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said, calling on local authorities to comply with the change, and not keep the rule in unnecessary places.

For the Brussels-Capital Region, an overview of where masks are obligatory can be found here.

The rule on face masks did not change when Belgium and then Brussels both announced new measures this week to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times