From today, Belgium’s new strict coronavirus fighting rules have come into effect, closing bars, limiting sales of alcohol, enforcing curfew and shrinking bubbles right down.
While strict and all-encompassing, experts have been cautious not to use a word all too prevalent in some neighbouring countries.
That word is Lockdown.
Several of Belgium’s new measures may overlap with those introduced in a “partial lockdown” by the Netherlands, but according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, there is an issue in the Dutch word of choice.
Belgium’s measures are in place “precisely to avoid another lockdown like the one in March,” he told The Brussels Times. “In that case, you can only leave your house if you have an essential profession, if you need groceries, or if you need medical care,” he said.
However, neither Belgium nor the Netherlands has issued such a stay-at-home order. “The shops, for example, are still open. Leaving the house to go shopping for clothes is definitely not an essential journey,” Van Gucht said.
“In the end, [a lockdown] is a failure of the recommendation of restricting people’s contacts,” Van Gucht said. “If that system fails, a lockdown is the only thing left.”
The Brussels Times