Covid-19 medics in Belgium turn back on Prime Minister in silent protest

Covid-19 medics in Belgium turn back on Prime Minister in silent protest
The staff staged the protest against a decree to recruit unqualified staff to carry out nursing duties.

Belgium's Prime Minister has been met by a silent protest during a visit to Saint-Pierre Hospital in Brussels.

The medical staff wearing protective equipment stood silently in two rows, turning their backs as Sophie Wilmes arrived in a car.

The staff staged the protest against a decree to recruit unqualified staff to carry out nursing duties.

Belgium is among the European countries worst hit by Covid-19 with more than 9,000 deaths.

Some European nations are beginning their Covid-19 lockdown exit plans.

Italy will throw open its borders next month, effectively ending Europe’s longest and strictest coronavirus lockdown, just as the summer tourism season gets underway.

Both regional and international borders will open on June 3, with the government eliminating a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving from abroad, it was announced on Saturday.

Many hope the move will revive a decimated tourist industry, which is worth 13% of Italy’s gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, Spain has registered its first daily death toll of fewer than 100 since declaring a state of emergency two months ago.

The figures come as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he will ask Parliament for what he hopes will be the last extension of the state of emergency, keeping it in place until around late June.

Tourism, which accounts for 12% of GDP, looks set to lose its critical summer season.

“Spain needs tourism,” Mr Sanchez said. “But tourism needs security. It needs health guarantees.”

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