‘Incomprehensible’: Belgium’s unannounced extension of covid measures under fire
Share article:
Share article:

‘Incomprehensible’: Belgium’s unannounced extension of covid measures under fire

Credit: Belga

A late night update to Belgium’s Covid fighting measures – extending the current rules by over a month – has come under criticism in the media this morning.

Speaking to VRT, motivational psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste of UGent warned that the change could have an impact on people’s willingness to follow the rules.

“Many people will have been surprised yesterday, some even strongly disappointed or angry. There is a need for clarification on this decision,” Vansteenkiste explained.

Belgium’s current measures against the spread of the coronavirus will be extended until 1 March, according to the new Ministerial Decree that was published on Tuesday.

Related News


“A new resurgence of the virus due to a premature relaxation of the measures should be avoided,” the decree in the Belgian Official Journal states.

While the Consultative Committee is scheduled to meet again to assess the situation on Friday 22 January, no warning of this change was made during the previous meeting of the committee last Friday.

“It is incomprehensible that there has been no communication about this,” said Vansteenkiste, who is also a member of the GEMS expert group that advises the government on covid matters.

“We have already delivered several opinions on ways to motivate people,” said Vansteenkiste, adding that it is “essential” people are given appropriate reason why things are happening.  “Give intermediate goals and a timing to reach the final goal each time,” he added.

The extension now means that the measures will still be in force during spring break, from 15 to 21 February. However, if the situation improves significantly, the measures could still be relaxed sooner, according to the decree.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...