The Security Council has been meeting again since 9 am. Plans are on the table with which local authorities will be able to take specific measures, from curfew to a local closure of the catering industry. Our “bubble” may also decrease from 15 to 10 people. New relaxations are no longer in it, a damper for the events sector.
Egmont Palace has become the meeting place for top politicians, press and relatives almost every week. Now that the infection rates have been rising for two weeks, they have been collecting again since 9 o’clock. At the last Security Council meeting last Wednesday, all relaxations for August were already put on hold. But this time, there are also expected to be tensions.
Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) clearly wanted to open the dance yesterday with six additional corona measures. Meetings will be limited to 10 people from Saturday, who goes to a cafe must leave information and you will have to wear a mask in more places.
Exactly such measures are also on the table of the Security Council today, but at the national level. Face masks would become mandatory in markets, in busy shopping streets, and in public services such as the municipal counter. Health Minister Maggie De Block (Open VLD) hinted in that direction on Tuesday, but the decision to establish the measure would now be ready.
And your name is?
The mandatory “notification obligation” – it almost sounds like wartime – for those who go to a restaurant, café or to the cinema, is on the table. This is not easy privacy wise. How is that data kept safe? And will they be destroyed after the crisis? “I am happy that it is not my department, and that I do not have to arrange that,” says a source.
This obligation to report will also apply to everyone who travels. “People who come back will have to enter a ‘passenger location form’ digitally 48 hours in advance,” said De Block. “Whether you return by car, by bus, train or plane, you will have to say where you and have given up a contact person. ” The form would become mandatory for everyone whether you are from a risk area or not.
And yes, the politicians are also going to talk about reducing our bubble. Now we can in principle meet 15 people every week at less than a meter and a half. That can sometimes be reduced to ten. The only question remains: if there is still little to check, what will change in practice?
What the Antwerp example still shows is that local authorities will be able to choose which measures they take. So Corona gets a local tan. So-called “scripts” have been drawn up for this. A mayor will normally be able to completely close a location, close the catering facilities locally, or introduce a curfew, although there are also less drastic measures.