Contact professionals hold "funeral march" from Brussels to the home of Belgium’s PM

Hairdressers, barbers, tattoo artists, beauticians, nail stylist and other non-medical contact professionals gathered at the Heizel Site in Brussels on Sunday morning. They travelled in convoy to the home of the Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) in the East Flemish municipality of Brakel in what they describe as a "funeral march". 

Under the measures designed to curb the spread novel coronavirus contact professionals have been forced to shut up shop for the past month and a half. With the number of people testing positive still more than two and a half times the level that will need to have been reached before a significant relaxation of the measures will be considered it seems likely that contact professionals will be unable to work for some time yet.

They feel that they are being discriminated against and claim that they are able to work safely but are not being allowed to do so. The protest, a symbolic funeral march that is in fact a convoy of cars, is entirely corona safe as those taking part are in their own vehicles and social distancing can be maintained.   

Nail stylist Nathalie Vanhaessendonck is one of the organisers of Sunday’s protest. She told VRT News that “We are setting from the Heizel in Brussels and will then drive to Brakel. Everything is completely corona-safe”.

Ms Vanhaessendonck added that "For many people remaining closed is no longer financially viable. Some people have written to us saying that they’re at their wits’ end. They can no longer see any way out”.

She believes that it is grossly unjust that contact professionals are not being allowed to work. "This decision was not based on figures. This is why we are now all letting our voices be heard”.


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