BRUSSELS. In the end Belgium chooses the soft way. No lockdowns, no mini-lockdowns. The Concertation Committee (Codeco) does not stop the nightlife, but regulates it by reintroducing all the basic measures to combat the Coronavirus. The discos remain open, but in addition to the green pass it is possible to carry out tests on the spot and on the spot or, for those who do not want to undergo control, use the mask to dance.
Precisely the mask on the nose and mouth, eliminated after the obligation to check the green pass, becomes mandatory in all closed places, whether it be in shops, museums, or offices. Anyone who has received the double dose of the vaccine must also wear the health safety product. The measure applies to all people aged 10 and over. Therefore, the threshold, previously set for the obligation from 12 years of age, has been lowered. The schools are left free to maneuver. For the teaching system, the language communities will decide which pupils, of what age, should wear the mask.
The decision on discos is explained by the fear of an unmanageable proliferation of private parties. It was the president of the Walloon region, Elio Di Rupo, who admitted that in the event of the closure of the ballrooms there could be a tendency to gatherings at home, more difficult to control.
News coming to the world of work. The compulsory teleworking of four days a week until December 13, and then reduced to three days until Christmas. In this way, public transport is to be emptied, once again used almost at full capacity. “We have to limit contacts,” explains the Belgian Prime Minister, the Flemish liberal Alexander De Croo, at the end of the meeting, which lasted over four hours.
The river meeting is due to the divisions around the table. There were those who asked for the closure of discos and gyms, in the end the policy decided differently, however, imposing ventilation systems that guarantee air exchange and recirculation. But it is above all the vaccination policy that divides. If the French-speaking and Flemish socialists of the federal government push for the obligation of the puncture, the other coalition parties and the other components of the Codeco (regional governments and linguistic communities) take the most precautionary line. The medical-scientific community is asked for more evidence of the need to switch to the mandatory regimen, and the compromise proposal provides for a third dose for all people already vaccinated by March-April at the latest.
Vaccination obligation confirmed for all medical-hospital staff. “It is essential that all of them get vaccinated, and therefore we confirm the measure already decided at the federal government level,” explains Frank Vanderbrouke (Vooruit, Flemish Socialists), Minister for Health.
Belgium, despite a number of infections that has reached an average of 10 thousand new cases a day, does not intend to stop for now. Try to tighten the shirts on the nightlife, but does not operate the close that was feared. “The philosophy is: don’t close, but be cautious”, summarizes De Croo. The light answer is attempted in the hope that it will serve as a warning.