Instead, it has been decided to take what the Prime Minister described as “a time out week” during which the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic will be closely monitored. The measures contained in the ministerial decree that is currently in force will remain unchanged until a new meeting of the Consultative Committee that is planned for next Friday.
Meanwhile, as promised at the last meeting of the Consultative Committee earlier this month, non-medical contact professionals such as nail technicians will be allowed to reopen from Monday.
The decision not to relax the restrictions has come after those attending Friday’s meeting were shown the very latest figures for the number of people with COVID-19 that are being hospitalised. On Thursday (25 February) there were 200 hospital admission of COVID-19 patients in Belgium. On Wednesday this was around 150. Both these figures are well up on what we have become used to in recent weeks and they give those in government great cause for concern.
Mr De Croo said that with this in mind it would be irresponsible to relax the restrictions at this stage. "We shouldn’t throw everything away" by relaxing the measures now. The Prime Minister added that this had been a difficult decision and that he realised that it is a difficult time for many, but we must persevere and clear the final hurdle.
Mr De Croo concluded by saying that the “Spring of freedom” is coming. However, in order to reach it we need to be “extra careful” and stick to the rules.
Later in the press conference the Walloon Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (Francophone socialist) said that the curfew hours in his region will be brought into line with those in force in Flanders from Monday.
However, in Brussels curfew hours will remain from 10pm to 6am.