Foto: Belga

Houthulst cancels events and closes childcare facilities due to rising number of coronavirus infections

The municipality of Houthulst has become the second municipality in West Flanders to cancel all events planned for this month. Houthulst is going a step further than the coastal municipality of Knokke-Heist as it is also closing its afterschool childcare facilities this week. The move has come after a surge in the number of coronavirus infections in Houthulst that is located in a largely rural area between Ieper and Diksmuide. Among the events cancelled are a party for pensioners organised by the municipality.

Currently more than 60 people in Houthulst, a municipality with a population of around 10,000, are quarantining. In order to bring down the number of coronavirus infections the municipal authorities have decided to cancel all the events that they had organised this month. 

The Christian democrat Mayor of Houthulst Joris Hindryckx told VRT News that “This is very sad because we had considered the ‘Houthulst Soept’ event, where all residents would have been able to come and drink a bowl of pumpkin soup, to be a kind of liberation party. It was to have been a festive start to the post-corona era. Sadly, we are now confronted with the fourth wave. It would be irresponsible to allow the event to go ahead. Just imagine if people became infected and had to quarantine for a long time. That would have put their festive season under threat. At this moment in time Christmas and New Year are more important”.

In addition to cancelling all events until the end of the month, the municipal authorities have also decided that their after-school childcare facilities will remain closed this week.

"There we have 4 infections in the same group. Legally speaking this is too many. This is why we have decided to opt for a pause. Just to be clear, the schools will remain open”, Mr Hindryckx explained.


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