Unlike abroad where Christmas bubbles are not only limited to champagne, the festive season in Belgium doesn’t look like heralding in many relaxations: “I don’t want to trash the progress made during the past four weeks in four days” said the federal PM. “The overwhelming majority of people recognise we won’t be celebrating Christmas like usual this year.”
“Thousands of people have an empty chair at their table. This is the chair for somebody that we lost in the past months. I wouldn’t want to see more empty chairs next Christmas because we are failing to do what is necessary. The Christmas period is potentially particularly dangerous and we don’t need to create any additional pain.”
Mr De Croo said many people would have work to do in preparations aimed at making the reopening of non-essential stores safe: “To a high degree it will depend on stores and the local authorities.”
Mr De Croo added that he was liaising with provincial governors on this matter.