The Belgian federal government on Friday adopted a new package of measures to counter the wave of COVID-19, which is again pressing hospitals in the country.
The decisions of the Federal Advisory Committee, which met for the third time in three weeks, focus primarily on private life and education.
next Monday, The use of the mask will become mandatory for children from six years of age., including schools, where the Belgian authorities estimate a high number of infections.
Experts paint an alarming scenario, with the virus spreading massively among children, and suggesting not only the use of masks, but the immediate closure of schools.
Therefore, today’s decision does not live up to the experts’ suggestion. Educational institutions will remain operating for another two weeks, with “strict” rules regarding broadcasting classes.
Schools will close one week before the holiday season, on December 20, and will resume 10 days after New Year’s Eve.
High school students return to distance learning, for the next two weeks, until exams before the holidays.
Health Minister Frank Vandenbroek hinted that the measures could have been “stronger”, acknowledging that it would be “disappointing” if it turned out to be “insufficient to put out the fire”.
The Minister highlighted the importance of vaccinating children, which should start in Belgium at the end of the month, based on the opinion of the Ethics Committee.
Sports events in the wings are permitted but ‘unassisted’. Regarding the public at outdoor sporting events, the government pushes the responsibility to the community sections, which will have to “properly manage the concentration of people”.
Opening hours in bars and restaurants maintain business hours until 23:00. Remote work remains mandatory, in jobs where possible.
The Belgian federal government believes that a pandemic must be about to arrive.
The average daily infection is 17,861, with 800 intensive care beds occupied, and an average of 44 deaths per day in the past week. The number of admissions continues to rise, with 316 daily admissions to the hospital.
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