Since Belgium went into second lockdown at the end of October, I have been saying that I don’t expect the country to emerge this time around until 2021. Looking at what is being said, it’s quite clear that the government is very wary of a repeat of the summer where the country started to ease the restrictions and was hit by a massive spike in infections.
There was a review of the current measures on Friday, utterly unsurprisingly, the current lockdown measures have been extended until mid-January.
There is, however, some easing of the current measures with non-essential shops being allowed to open from Tuesday. Restrictions still apply and shoppers are expected to quickly pick up their non-essential essentials and leave. For us, this means that broken bootlaces can finally be replaced. Museums will also be allowed to re-open, and swimming pools, oddly enough. But not cinemas.
Hairdressers also remain closed. I have threatened to cut my own hair already, and am coming close to going through with it.
And, with Christmas fast approaching, the number of social contacts remains the same and absolutely will not change, according to Federal Health Minister, Frank Vandenbroucke:
The decision for Christmas period is final. We want to offer people clarity even if this isn’t pleasant. It is better to be certain where you are heading, and we absolutely wish to avoid giving people false promises.
We’ve already reconciled ourselves that we won’t be visiting elderly grandparents in either France or the UK this year, and I do see the sense of this. Disappointing as it is, you can’t negotiate with a virus and a seasonal lifting of restrictions is a bit silly, to say the least.
All of this does, of course, mean no Christmas film and no Wonder Woman this year.
And we’ll be having a quiet Christmas at home.
And I really need a haircut.