Health Minister: “5-person contact bubble might be relaxed, but other measures would then be tightened”

On Wednesday the National Security Council will meet to decide on the measures that will be taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic during the coming weeks. With the number of new infections on the rise there is little if any chance that the existing measures that are in force will be relaxed. 

In an interview with VRT News’ Michaël Van Droogenbroeck that was broadcast on VRT Radio 1 on Saturday morning, the Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) said “Our task is to find a safe way of carrying on living as we go into the winter in which we avoid placing people into complete social isolation. Not complete freedom, but something that offers quality of life”.

The 5-person contact bubble is one issue that will be on the table. “These are people with whom you may have close contact. But then you have other contacts with whom you should continue to apply the measures (social distancing, etc.) strictly. There are people that believe that this is too strict, families that say that this is untenable. So, we are going to look at what we can about this, how this could be relaxed”.

Ms De Block added that other measures might be tightened.

"That’s how it goes. You give a little bit and the virus will be able to take hold more. Then you have to find another measure to push it back”.

The 5-person contact bubble is not the only measure that will be discussed on Wednesday. Ms De Block told VRT News that the meeting will seek to find a way for us to be able to live our lives during the next few months.

"I think that we will have to act differently with friends, acquaintance and colleagues. Previously we sat near to each other and a lot of workplaces are organised like this. Small meetings in small rooms. Now meetings take place at big tables in big rooms. This is something that we should do if it permits us to function more normally”.

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