Blue forest – level 3

In a normal year, up to 100,000 people flock to the forest of Hallerbos, south of Brussels, Belgium, to admire its carpet of bluebells which bloom around mid-April.

The giant Sequoia trees also make a visit to this forest more than worth it.

However, this year’s fears that crowds of visitors would pose a risk of coronavirus infection have pushed the local authorities to issue a warning for people to stay away. Local authorities are limiting visitor numbers due to concerns over social distancing, and they have closed parking lots and canceled buses.

A local resident who visited the forest last week said that she had bought her mask and she put it on when there were too many people around her. She pointed out that there weren’t many things that people were allowed to do apart from walking in nature because there were no restaurants and bars open. If officials started closing natural areas, it would become very difficult psychologically because these places keep up the spirit.

Difficult words: flock (to move or gather together in large numbers), sequoia (a very tall evergreen tree which grows typically in California), pose (to present usually a risk or danger), the spirit (the mood, the liveliness of a person).

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