This would be an intervention in our shopping behavior. “As far as I’m concerned, this is the most important Security Council since March,” says virologist Marc Van Ranst. The French-speaking liberals meanwhile exert pressure on Antwerp.
Last weekend it was decided to bring the Security Council forward from Friday to Monday. After all, most virologists agreed after the previous meeting that the measures did not go far enough.
Meanwhile, the curve goes up steeply every day. “Earlier than Monday was not possible,” says Van Ranst. “I wrote a report until last night.”
According to health institute Sciensano, great attention should now be paid to enforcing the measures. “The sense of citizenship is evolving positively, but there must also be clearer signals from the government,” says Professor Boudewijn Catry.
Sciensano also warns against repeating errors from the first wave, such as the complete quarantine of residents of residential care centers. “And the measures must continue to co-exist,” says Catry. “Taking one measure shouldn’t be an alibi to scrap another.”
The main part of what is on the table on Monday is the reduction of the contact bubble, can be noted at various sources. “But we will not get there alone,” is one of the cabinets involved.
So there are also other actions on the table. For example, there will be talk of an intervention in the shops. The number of contacts during shopping must decrease, possibly by calling on people to go to the store again. An increase in the number of square meters per customer would not be an option.
In addition, there is talk about a new restriction on events and about an extension of the mouth mask obligation, can be heard from political circles.
Marc Van Ranst is in any case a supporter of the Antwerp guideline to always have a mask with you. “That’s a good position,” he says. “After all, you cannot always predict which part of the city you will be visiting.”
He does not consider an obligation to keep the mask on anytime and anywhere. “It only contributes in busy places, the mayors are best placed to indicate where that is.”
According to Van Ranst, this is a decisive Security Council, the most important since March. “This is crucial. We are there earlier than in the first wave, but we also want to stop it earlier. ‘
According to him, it should be possible to move the epidemic in a different direction within four weeks. ‘We want to have this under control by 1 September, so that we can have a normal start-up of the schools.’
The French-speaking liberals are now putting great pressure on Antwerp. “The mayor of Antwerp must take responsibility and not hide behind the federal level,” said Deputy Prime Minister David Clarinval at The evening. “Bart De Wever must take courageous measures.”
Clarinval is joined by party chairman Georges-Louis Bouchez. “It makes sense that in addition to the rules that apply throughout Belgium, we need specific local rules, such as in Antwerp, to counter the revival of Covid19. The National Security Council allows local authorities to act as adequately and as purposefully as possible, “he said in a tweet.
The governors of Antwerp and West Flanders, two provinces that are currently particularly affected by the virus, were invited to the Security Council on Monday.
“I am going to listen to the measures that are being proposed and also put forward what my mayors want,” says Anne Martens, acting governor of West Flanders. “Several municipalities have asked to reduce the bubble to ten people.”
In addition, Anne Martens is waiting for a script for intervention at the local level. “We would like to have objective instruments that say which measures are justified in which situation,” she says.
Cathy Berx, governor of Antwerp, does not deny that she was invited on Monday. Across the language border, people react nervously to the situation in the city of Antwerp. “The governor could intervene,” it is suggested Sunday evening. “We can’t lock the whole country down due to a local problem.” (Belgian)