Flemish PM says that corona restrictions won’t be relaxed as long as the figures remain at current levels

The Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist) has told VRT News that he shares the views of the Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) concerning an eventual further relaxation of the measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus. Speaking on the Sunday morning topical discussion programme ‘De zevende dag’, Mr Jambon said that as long as the figures remain as high as they currently are no relaxation of the restrictions currently in force can be expected. 

On Saturday Mr Vandenbroucke said that the hospitality industry can more or less rule out being able to reopen on 1 March.

On Sunday morning Mr Jambon confirmed this "You can’t say that the fall in the corona figures is really continuing. 1 March is very close. What we said at the last Consultative Committee is that at the next meeting we will examine the phased reopening of various sectors. This can offer them scope. However, as long as the figures remain at this level it won’t be enough for there to be a relaxation of the measures.”

But when will the measures be relaxed then? Here too Mr Jambon sings from the same hymn sheet as Mr Vandenbroucke. “For the important point is getting all over 65s and young people with chronic conditions vaccinated. This is the group that ends up in hospital easiest. Once this is under control, I think we can relax the measures”.

The Flemish PM wouldn’t give a precise date for an eventual relaxation of the measures. “It is all dependent on supplies. The mass vaccination campaign should normally get under way on 1 March. If we are able to get large quantities of the vaccines things will move quickly”.

"Everyone wants to move more quickly, but no one wants a third wave. We move one pace forward look around cautiously before taking our next step. I understand the frustration about this. Everyone around the decision-making table shares these frustrations. But relaxaing the rules to then haven’t tighten them again to a situation even worse than today is the last thing we want".

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