Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation makes mid-term review and confirms existing rules
Today, the Belgian Federal Government and the governments of the states discussed the corona situation in the Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation by videoconference. The situation in Belgium has evolved positively for several weeks and is more favourable than in a whole series of other European countries.
In particular, the Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation noted that the number of infections is slowly decreasing. Despite this general downward trend, the reproduction rate is again rising slightly (Rt = 1.004). The occupancy rate of intensive care units also remains at a high level.
However, the Consultative Committee believes that it is still too early to evaluate the possible impact of returning travellers, the past holidays and the reopening of schools.
The Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation has therefore taken the following decisions:
Mandatory homeworking will remain in place. There will be more checks on the workplaces of workers who are required to be in quarantine.
Non-essential travel remains strongly discouraged. There will be more checks on compliance with testing and mandatory quarantine after non-essential travel. Controls on returning road travel will also be increased. The current rules for travel will apply until at least after the spring holiday.
Faster vaccination. The Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation asks the Taskforce Vaccinatie to speed up vaccination and make it more efficient. The news about the doubling of the European purchase of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech is of particular importance in that context.
More testing. The Ministers from Volksgezondheid and the Taskforce Testing are instructed to increase the number of PCR and antigen tests within the current testing capacity.
Vigilance in education. Extra attention should be paid to respecting hygiene regulations and quarantine of school-aged children, especially for school-aged children from neighbouring countries with a less favourable epidemiological situation.
The Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation understands the particularly precarious position of the self-employed and entrepreneurs who have had to keep their businesses closed for months now. In order to have the reopening for all sectors as fast and efficient as possible, the Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation asks the expertencommissie (GEMS) (GEMS) to draw up a time schedule for the reopening and to indicate where stricter protocols and additional sanitary measures are necessary.
Photo: Eerste minister / Le Premier ministre Alexander De Croo © Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation 2020
The Covid-19 Commissariaat is asked to make concrete proposals to support the motivation of the population during this difficult period.
The Overlegcomité / le Comité de concertation will meet again on 22 January 2021. At that time, the impact of the holidays and returning travellers can be better assessed.