“Giving a calendar for the easing would be a shameful lie”

If the contaminations curve continues to climb before the end of the Christmas holidays, there is a risk of closing stores, for example, in January?

Experts said if it was escalation, schools or stores would have to be closed, for example. Everything must be done to avoid the closure of schools. Fortunately, we have seen, in recent days, a deceleration in the number of contaminations: it is increasing less quickly. If we can reach a plateau, then see the curve go down… Normally, two weeks is enough to break the chain of contaminations and the Christmas holidays should be a godsend in this regard. The price to pay is the efforts to be made in the family context: limit close contact to one and the same person, as much as possible. And you can invite at most one close contact per household. If you live alone, you can invite your close contact and an additional person to your home, except for the Christmas holidays, where it was stipulated that these two people could not be in your home at the same time. In short: it works or it breaks!

Is there a contamination threshold beyond which we take measures?

There are no numbers, no automatism. We live in the most complete uncertainty. Look at what’s going on with the UK. The context changes, evolves. We cannot manage the company solely on the basis of an automatism linked to a few figures, but we have defined what a safe situation without a vaccine is: less than 800 infections per day for three consecutive weeks, less than 75 hospitalizations for seven days (with a downtrend) and these two parameters should show a downtrend.

It is not certain that these figures can be arrived at before the end of winter. Does this mean that the Horeca, for example, could remain closed until April?

One should not prejudge such a situation: there is no automatism, neither in a positive direction, nor in a negative direction. You have to look at the numbers every day, see what is happening in society, take into account the difficulties of people, for example young people (that’s why we do everything to keep schools open) and then take a decision (…) I cannot give a deadline: say now that we will reopen this on January 15 or February 15, or March 1; that would be a shameful lie. (…)

>>> Find the full interview with Frank Vandenbroucke by clicking HERE.


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