Health Minister “Decision on the Christmas period is final”

The Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) has told VRT News that the decision taken by the Consultative Committee that severely limits visitors to our homes during the festive season will not be revised even if the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic fall dramatically during the next few weeks. Mr Vandebroucke was speaking in an interview with the late evening news on the VRT’s television channel Eén. 

On Friday the Consultative Committee that is made up of representatives of Belgium’s federal, regional and language community governments decided to extend the restrictions on the number of people we are allowed to invite into our homes beyond Christmas and the New Year. This means that households made up of more than one person will only be able to invite one so-called “cuddle contact” (a person with who they interact without social distancing or the wearing of a face covering). An exception has been made for people that live alone. They with be allowed to invite both their “cuddle contact” and a second person with whom they maintain social distancing to their home on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day if they so wish.

Mr Vandenbroucke said that "The decision for Christmas period is final. We want to offer people clarity even if this isn’t pleasant. It is better to be certain where you are heading, and we absolutely wish to avoid giving people false promises”.  

"Of course, it is a difficult message to have to convey. We normally celebrate Christmas with grandparents and grandchildren together. The problem is that the virus that really likes parties. This doesn’t mean that that Christmas can’t be convivial, but it will have to be in a smaller group”, the Health Minister said.

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