‘Non-essential travel within Belgium will not be restricted,’ according to Petra De Sutter
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‘Non-essential travel within Belgium will not be restricted,’ according to Petra De Sutter

Credit: Belga

The government will not be restricting some of the most pivotal freedoms following Wednesday’s Consultative Committee, according to Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter.

De Sutter said she wants to avoid tightening certain relaxations further, on Radio 1 on Wednesday morning.

“We are not going to restrict freedom any further by restricting non-essential travel. We are also not going to change the cuddle contact rule and we will probably leave the curfew as it is now,” she said.

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She added that she would also like to leave the outdoor “bubble” of ten people rule, which was introduced in mid-March, untouched, although she said it may also be on the table.

However, De Sutter emphasised that certain changes will be made and that the closure of the schools is on the table with the goal of re-opening them again after the Easter holidays in mid-April.

“We will have to look at various sectors where there is a risk of infection, such as non-medical contact professions,” she added.

The closure of non-essential shops is still under discussion, not because things aren’t well-organised in the shops themselves, but because of the crowds who gather in the shopping streets, “and in any case, we need to limit gathering,” she added.

The Consultative Committee planned for Friday was brought forward to Wednesday morning as coronavirus figures in the country continue to increase, resulting in mounting calls from experts asking the government to impose more restrictions. 

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times