June 6, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Inspired by the strategy of the Danish island to get out of the crisis? “It’s a Key to Getting Back to Normal Life”

S'inspirer de la stratégie d'une île danoise pour sortir de la crise? "C'est l'une des clés pour revenir à la vie normale"

Reopening of schools, hairdressers, beauticians … From March 1, residents of the island of Bournemouth in Denmark have the right to a more or less normal life compared to the rest of the country.

Since the beginning of this month, the 588-kilometer island has actually served as a “laboratory” to allow Danish authorities to release the detention imposed on the country since mid-December.

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in its territory, the strategy used by Bornholm was to heavily test its population. In schools, for example, teachers are tested twice a week, along with students over 12 years of age. In addition, in order to go to the hairdresser, residents must submit a negative test certificate less than 72 hours old. The same certification is required to enter or depart from the island. As a general rule, every resident should be tested at least once a week. Thanks to all these rules, the pollution rate on the island has dropped and the sanitation measures in place are now very limited.

Copenhagen wants to be inspired by the positive results of his “Guinea Pig” island and hopes to set up similar testing equipment in other parts of the country to return to normal life in the coming months.

And in Belgium?

Is such a strategy possible in Belgium? For Steven van Gucht, who was questioned by our colleagues from VRT, the test was one of “reopening society”. In the opinion of experts, the strategy used by Bournehome is absolutely correct. “If the population can be tested regularly, as in Bornhome, we can really prevent the virus from spreading,” he explained.

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However, the expert opined that the implementation of such a device in Belgium would not be so obvious. True, Bournehome has only 40,000 inhabitants and has the advantage of being an island with no direct borders with other countries.