Bars, restaurants, vaccination …: politicians and experts evoke deconfinement

The numbers are slowly continuing to drop. While hairdressers have just reopened, experts and politicians are talking about the next steps in deconfinement.

Deconfinement. In recent days, this word filled with hope has been on everyone’s lips. Hairdressers have barely reopened their doors and welcomed their first clients when experts and politicians are already discussing the next steps. A few days ago, Christie Morreale (PS), Walloon Minister of Health, spoke of a partial deconfinement “Within 15 days”. Or February 26. This Sunday, his former party president, Elio Di Rupo (PS) called for caution and a “step by step” transition.

It must be said that the figures continue – slowly, but surely – to decline. Just like the motivation of the population. From Dinant to Louvain-la-Neuve, the population demonstrated this weekend his fed up and his support for young people.

“We are aware of the growing exasperation, of the distress of young people,” Karine Lalieux (PS), Federal Minister for Pensions and Social Integration, declared on Bel-RTL on the air. “The efforts required are very hard, but it is to regain our freedoms”.

Opening restaurants in April?

The socialist minister is also hoping for relaxations for April. “We are going to move towards easing at the same rate as we are going to vaccinate the most vulnerable. I really hope that in April the breath will resume, especially with the beautiful days. I hope that at least the café terraces will be open, we do not have a third wave unlike other European countries. “

Georges-Louis Bouchez did not say anything else in an interview with SudInfo. The Liberal is aiming for the reopening of restaurants. “We made a strong commitment to hairdressers so that they reopen this month (…). We will wait two or three weeks to see if there is no impact and we will come back with the restaurants. We will already discuss it at the next Codeco on February 26 but we are considering a reopening for the spring. And spring is March 21. They will probably reopen before the cafes because contacts are made in a different way. “

What do the experts think?

If the experts underline the efforts made by the Belgians and the favorable development of the figures, they nevertheless remain very cautious. This is particularly the case of Marc Van Ranst who spoke this weekend in the columns of the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. “There will come a time when it will be possible to either open the restaurants, or resume cultural life, or let the sports competitions resume, or allow people to welcome guests into their homes. But we can only authorize one easing at the start, so we have to choose ”explained the Flemish scientist, admitting the difficult political arbitration.

“The government will decide which comes first: go back to the cafe or visit Grandma.” So let’s be a little indulgent with the politicians on this point. »When can we expect these relaxations? Marc Van Ranst prefers not to advance a date, mainly because of the variants. “One thing is certain: at the moment it is absolutely still too dangerous to relax. And that’s what the Gems told the government. “

Same opinion on the French-speaking side with Marius Gilbert. For the epidemiologist, deconfinement in May is a “realistic” scenario. But everything will depend on the vaccination campaign. “The transmission is at a stable level for the moment. (…) It would be more comfortable to deconfin if we were in a decay phase because we would have a certain leeway that we could use,” explained the expert. “This is why deconfinement must be done in an extremely gradual manner. Whenever we are going to deconfin something, do it with great caution and with the help of devices, ”said the expert.

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