These are very strong measures. “Bis repeated, this Monday, at the end of the National Security Council meeting urgently, four days before its initial meeting date. Sign that the situation is worrying and that the measures that would be announced would change our daily lives.
Already last Thursday, it was clear that the evolution of the health situation required strong action. A first salvo had fallen, less heavy than expected. Under pressure from experts, the catch-up session took place on Monday. “We requested a new report from Celeval (evaluation unit), and we followed it to the letter“, specified the Prime Minister, as echoing the declarations of the last week where the politician had kept the bubble of fifteen, in spite of the requests of the experts to pass to ten.
One more step towards containment
From this Wednesday, July 29, our lives will switch a little more towards the “confined” mode, for the next four weeks. Measures that affect many areas of our daily activities. Back to old habits regarding supermarkets and stores. The races must be done alone (or accompanied by a minor living under the same roof or by a person needing assistance). The maximum duration of 30 minutes in a store is once again the norm, as was the case during containment.
What about presence in the workplace? Sophie Wilmès did not fail to recall that teleworking must be encouraged and favored, and this from the first stages of deconfinement. But from this Wednesday, a redoubling of efforts will be required of employers and employees to make it effective when possible. Contacts between colleagues should be reduced as much as possible, in particular by means of rotation between teams of colleagues.
Bad news for travelers who relied on the SNCB pass of 12 free journeys during the last days of the summer holidays. This pass is postponed for a few weeks and will come into effect on September 7th. A decision intended to limit the crowds in cars and facilitate distancing. “Safety is and remains the top priority“, for their part indicated the SNCB and the Minister of Mobility, François Bellot.
Tracing is intensifying
New limitation also in mass events. They will be strictly limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors, and 200 outdoors. This is a reduction of half compared to the situation we have known for a few weeks. However, this maximum can only be reached if the protocols issued by the local authorities are respected, we told the Prime Minister.
Since this Saturday, tracing was mandatory in restaurants. This time the principle will be extended to other activities. The Minister of the Economy Nathalie Muylle (Open VLD) evoked, on the sidelines of the press conference, swimming pools, casinos, conference rooms, party rooms and wellness centers. The precise list of places concerned will appear in the forthcoming ministerial decree. The obligations will be similar to those in force in the Horeca, namely the registration of a contact form containing the contact details of the customers.
Guarantee the start of the school year
However, there is no question of taking advantage of the remaining hours to reduce efforts or to relax. The message is clear: Wednesday’s date only responds to logistical reasons, but the call is made to follow them as soon as possible. “The idea is obviously not to do anything by Wednesday“Insisted Sophie Wilmès. The remark aims here to prevent the” lockdown parties “which had multiplied on March 13, on the eve of confinement.
“The measures taken today are very strong, but it will take time to see their effects on the epidemiological curve“, recalled Sophie Wilmès. With one objective, always the same: to flatten the curve, but also to do everything to guarantee the return of September:”If we do not intervene drastically, we risk finding ourselves in such a difficult situation that even the start of the school year could be undermined. “, Warned the Prime Minister.