Flemish government takes battery of measures to counter the coronavirus emergency

Flemish PM Jan Jambon (nationalist) has addressed the people of Flanders as the Flemish government announced a raft of new measures to tackle the corona emergency.

Mr Jambon said that his administration wanted to do everything to stem the further spread of the virus and urged everybody to take his, her or their responsibility.

“Our businesses face serious stormy weather that can lead to real tragedies.  Everybody from young starters to big business is suffering.  Some people are seeing years of hard work go up in smoke.”

Mr Jambon insisted that his administration would do all it could to counter the suffering of those Flemings hit.

Measures taken by the Flemish government include:

An extra 7 million euros has been released to pay for orders of extra mouth masks that will hopefully arrive soon.  People with mouth masks at home are asked to take them to hospitals.  People who make mouth masks can donate them to nursing homes.

Child minders have received instructions for care as well as financial guarantees in case no children turn up. Vaccinations by the children’s agency are suspended until 5 April.

So far 694 people have come forward to form a medical reserve of doctors, nurses, lab technicians and physiotherapists in case they are needed.

Businesses that have to close for now qualify for a grant of 4,000 euros for the first three weeks topped up by 160 euros a day for every extra day. The grant will also be available for owners of restaurants even if they organise take-away services.

Businesses can also qualify for loan guarantees and bridging loans to tide them over the worst.

Taxpayers who normally advance their taxes are getting a 4 month payment holiday.

The Flemish government is also asking local authorities to delay or suspend local taxation.

Meanwhile 4,000 people have registered for the volunteers’ insurance that can protect dog walkers and people who go shopping for the vulnerable in society.

Holiday youth camps planned for the Easter holidays have been cancelled. Now the schools are closed education minister Weyts has asked people to look after children themselves as much as possible.  Schools are providing child care for parents of essential services.


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