Summer has come to Brussels and with it a more anticipated release. In May, restaurants opened terraces, but videos and photos of umbrellas and wet chairs, where guests sat in winter jackets for a drink outside a year later, were a tragic picture of the situation in Belgium. Politicians will hardly keep it under control.
Discipline and compliance are declining. Thousands of unruly parties are proliferating, especially the younger ones, and the police interventions in them have become an exciting pleasure after a long and boring lockdown.
So the release was evident in the face of Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo, when he announced that his federal government was embarking on the first phase of a plan called “Summer”. And the Belgian prime minister promised that if this phase succeeded, they could start thinking about a great summer. Smiling, he added, “Be careful, but have fun with it!”
How do you deal with such a recommendation? Society is in the mood to enjoy the summer rather than be wary. The extended opening time finally fills the restaurant until about midnight, the look and mood can be improved again in gyms a year later, and the fallen spirit can lift the culture. Hundreds of thousands of people who have worked from home for more than a year are about to partially return to their offices after a long time.
Indian alternative to the delta
Although social bubbles remain limited, with the veil at least on the outside, life in Brussels seems almost normal. The vaccination campaign is progressing – about a quarter of Belgium is now fully vaccinated, and about half the population has received a single dose, these days it’s the turn of the first person in their 30s.
Vaccination and excretion look very similar in the rest of Western Europe. Everything would finally look on the right track if the epidemiologists didn’t screw it up. In the north of England, the number of Indian variants in hospitals is increasing. It is called delta, and according to experts, it is necessary to have two doses of vaccination to resist it. It did not take long for the mutations to be transferred from Britain to Belgium, France or Germany. So the release shouldn’t take long. Epidemiologists are talking again about the need to keep numbers low.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has yet to announce on Monday how far the release will go in the British Isles. And on the continent, it may end up being similar. But what is certain is that if politicians want to propose a step back again, it will be difficult for them to keep the numbers in check, especially for a company that wants to enjoy the summer nicely.