Children not exempt from ‘cuddle contact’ rule, Crisis Centre warns
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Children not exempt from ‘cuddle contact’ rule, Crisis Centre warns

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The coronavirus rule surrounding ‘cuddle contacts’ also applies to children under 12, Yves Stevens of the National Crisis Centre clarified on Wednesday.

Children are often exempt from other coronavirus rules, as they do not have to wear a face mask and are allowed to play in groups, but they do count as ‘cuddle contacts’.

That can complicate things for Christmas, as on 24 and 25 December, a family can normally have only one visitor, while a single person can see two ‘cuddle contacts’.

Children have always been part of the ‘cuddle contact’ rule, according to Stevens. “This has been the case since the announcement of the measure in November,” he said, adding that no distinction is made for children on the coronavirus website either.

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“This surprises people now, but actually we’ve been saying this for a couple of weeks,” Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told Terzake on Wednesday evening, “but we probably haven’t made that clear enough yet.”

Ostend Mayor Bart Tommelein faced criticism after sharing a clip on Facebook in which he is seen celebrating Sinterklaas with his two grandchildren. He later tweeted that he had “unconsciously and even unknowingly made a mistake.”

Translation: Of course I’m not too ashamed to admit that I unconsciously and even unknowlingly made a mistake to have two toddlers -2 years together. The guidelines that children under the age of 12 are considered full contacts are also a regrettable surprise.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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