Health

Brussels mayor: Coronavirus quarantine at schools to be enforced by police

A Brussels mayor has pledged to use police to enforce a ban on people who have recently returned from coronavirus hot spots from entering public spaces such as schools, nursing homes, sports centers and libraries.

In a decree issued Sunday, Olivier Maingain, mayor of the Woluwe-Saint-Lambert district of the city, said any person returning from “high-risk zones” should not enter public spaces for 14 days. The order specifically listed China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, South Korea, Iran and the northern Italian regions of Veneto and Lombardy.

It went on to say that police were instructed to assist head teachers and managers and would “expel any person who does not comply with the prohibition.”

The Woluwe-Saint-Lambert order goes well beyond precautions advised by Belgiums federal government. In a statement issued on Sunday, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said that “increased vigilance is required” for people who had returned from at risk zones, although the statement did not say that people who were not exhibiting symptoms must self-quarantine or avoid public spaces.

The Belgian health ministry website listed six new cases of COVID-19 on Monday: five in Flanders and one in Brussels.

The World Health Organization also does not advise banning people who have returned from affected areas from entering public places. “Travellers returning from affected areas should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days and follow national protocols of receiving countries,” its advice reads. “If symptoms occur, such as fever, or cough or difficulty breathing, travellers are advised to contact local health care providers, preferably by phone, and inform them of their symptoms and their travel history.”

Maingain did not respond to a request from POLITICO for comment, but he tweeted Monday about a “useful meeting” of the Regional Security Council on the response to the coronavirus outbreak. “Some mayors have already had to make decisions for the departure of school trips to regions at risk without waiting for the higher authorities,” he wrote.

The European School of Bruxelles-Argenteuil in the Brussels suburb of Read More – Source

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