The message in which the universities are calling on students to stick to the old (stricter) rules, comes just one day after the government's announcement to relax corona restrictions. The universities are thus following experts, who slashed the relaxations claiming that this is not the right time for it.
"The university is an environment which brings together young people between 18 and 25 years. We are very concerned about the spreading of coronavirus in your group." That is how the e-mail by the UAntwerpen starts. It has been signed by the rector Herman Van Goethem, but also by infectiologist Erika Vlieghe and another renowned expert, epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme.
After Antwerp, the universities of Hasselt (Limburg) and Ghent soon followed. Hasselt rector Luc De Schepper writes that he is "very concerned about the relaxations" and that "the virus is spreading fast in this group." We want to spare the education system and the hopsitals, he adds.
UGent will ask students explicitly to remain vigilant, both on the campus as in other places, when they don't follow any courses. Rector Rik Van de Walle says that "this is not about going against the Security Council, but we particularly ask students to be careful in their contacts with older generations and to limit their close contacts in general."