“Stricter measures in Brussels very soon”, but not today

The Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal), has denied the security council relaxed corona measures this week despite extending the number of close contacts people are allowed to have.  Ms Wilmès told VRT the council, which groups the country’s six governments, had simply removed pointless rules. She also noted that preparations for stricter measures in some areas were underway.

The PM concedes that rules governing close personal contacts were relaxed: “This is the only point people remember.  It’s not correct to say we relaxed the rules. First and foremost we harmonised the rules and removed pointless ones.  For personal contacts, we did say we would prefer to provide somewhat more relaxed rules that are followed by people rather than rules that nobody follows”.

“Many are the rules that still exist and they are among the strictest in Europe. We should recognise that.”

The prime minister, who is nominally in charge of the country, told VRT that the Brussels Region must take new measures “very soon”.  Decisions taken by the security council on Wednesday were based on the premise that Belgium was a “yellow” zone on the map.

“We took measures on the basis of Belgium being a yellow zone.  Belgium as a whole is still a yellow zone, but we know that parts of the country – like Brussels – are no longer yellow and stricter measures must be taken in these places”.

PM Wilmès is meeting the leaders of community and regional governments this morning to decide on the way ahead: “Additional measures are required in the short term.  We will now preparer these” she said.

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