Easter bunnies on lockdown wear face masks to support Belgian hospital

By Marine Strauss

Lonzee (Reuters) - Belgian artisan chocolate maker Genevieve Trepant approached this Easter with a topical note, adding face masks to the bunnies she makes in fairtrade milk or dark chocolate.

With the country in lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, she closed her workshop near Namur and opened an online store where she sells her bunnies at 12 euros ($13.04) a piece.

She said she wanted her 20-cm (8-inch) tall creations to show unity with the nearby hospital of Namur.

"We do like everybody, we adapt, we find solutions and we support healthcare professionals," she said.

By raising funds for the King Baudouin Foundation, Trepant hopes to buy medical equipment for her local hospital.

Customers can choose between a "solidarity bunny" that she will deliver herself to the hospital's medical staff or a "lockdown bunny" for their own consumption.

"The lockdown is also tough on all independents (businesses)," she said.

That said, she was busy ahead of Easter and hired one employee to help her create the bunnies.

Belgium had reported 26,667 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with a death toll of 3,019.

(Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine, Yves Herman; Editing by Frances Kerry)