Belgium introduces restrictions to prevent new Covid lockdown

The constraints will last four weeks, evaluation of some of the measures will be carried after 14 days

Photo: Europost Brussels' Grand Place.

As the epidemiological situation in Belgium is worrying, with new coronavirus infections rising and Covid patients in ICUs now two and a half times higher than at the end of March, the country introduced Covid-19 alert level 4 and new restrictions entering into force as of Monday. All measures will apply for one month, after which they will be evaluated. 

To prevent a general lockdown, similar to which the country experienced in March, and not to allow hospitals get into trouble, schools to close, the economy to stagnate and too many people becoming lonely, the Belgium’s Consultative Committee has decided on a series of measures.

Quite new for the country is the curfew, introducing a ban on entering public space between midnight and 5am except for essential travel that cannot be delayed, like urgent medical reasons, professional travel and commuting.

Due to the new restrictions, so called cuddle contacts are limited to one person only. Private gatherings are restricted to the same four people every two weeks and gatherings in public areas are also limited to maximum of four people.

Working from home will become the rule for jobs that allow such schedule, while ensuring the continuity of business operations, activities and services. Markets and small fairs will remain open, but the consumption of drinks and food will be banned. Flea markets and Christmas bazaars are forbidden in the next 30 days.

Bars and restaurants are closed for a period of four weeks and the measure will be evaluated after two weeks. Taking away meals is possible until 10pm, receptions and banquets provided by a professional catering company are not allowed, except in hotels for guests who are staying there and gatherings after funerals but not more than 40 people.

Night shops have to close at 10pm and a new prohibition enters into effect on the sale of alcohol from 8pm.

For indoor activities, the existing protocol will apply until the evaluation on 23 October. The sale of drinks and foods will be banned. As for the sports events, compartments are halved from 400 to 200 spectators for professional matches and limited to members of the same household – for amateurs. Canteens and drinking establishments remain closed.

 

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