On August 3rd, the Belgian vaccinologist, Pierre Van Damme, suggested that in September Belgium could potentially remove the requirement to wear a face mask in closed spaces. All this while highlighting the importance of each individual’s sense of responsibility when the need to wear a mask arises.
While Van Damme believes that mouth masks are still useful in Belgium at the moment, the professor from the University of Antwerp thinks that we are approaching a time when the obligation to wear a mask could be suspended.
It depends on our knowledge of the virus as well, because the coronavirus keeps surprising us. That is why we still advocate looking at everything step by stepPierre Van Damme, vaccionologist
The expert added that the lifting of this health measure will of course be linked to the vaccination coverage of the country. If the vaccination campaign continues at its current pace, a large proportion of Belgians will be fully vaccinated by September. Then, authorities would be able to progressively evaluate the circumstances in which the mouth mask is no longer needed.
I think it will be self-evident. If there is not much of a crowd, and you are in an open space, for example on a platform in a train station, then there is no need to wear a mask. In an indoor space, with little ventilation and a lot of people, it is still usefulPierre Van Damme, vaccionologist
Remaining cautious, Van Damme added that the lifting of the obligation to wear the mask should be done gradually, first in places like the platforms of a station for example. But according to him, it is clear that mask should continue to be worn in busy indoor places, such as public transport. He stressed that people ought to stay vigilant as the coronavirus continues to surprise everyone.