Belgium’s phase 4: which measures change from today?

The tightened measures to stop the rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and deaths in Belgium that were announced before the weekend take effect from today.

Even though it is still a little too early to see the effect of the previous restrictions on the infection figures, even stricter rules were necessary, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said during a press conference on Friday evening.

Starting today, and for a period of four weeks, bars and restaurants across the country will have to close. Getting takeaway, however, will still be possible until 10:00 PM. After two weeks, the measure will be evaluated.

Additionally, the sale of alcohol will be banned after 8:00 PM, and a curfew will be installed, prohibiting people from leaving their homes for non-essential reasons between midnight and 5:00 AM.

People will only be allowed to have one close contact, outside their own household.

Households can also invite up to 4 guests, always the same ones, changing every two weeks. For these guests, the distance rules have to be respected.

Teleworking where possible will be made mandatory again. Where this is not possible, everything has to be done to make sure people can work safely.

All markets that are not selling food will have to close. This also includes flea markets, coming Christmas markets and winter villages.

Gatherings after funerals, and all other indoor gatherings or events for which there is no protocol in place, will be allowed with up to 40 people.

For the sport and culture sector, things remain unchanged until the protocols have been revised and adapted to the current epidemiological situation, which will likely be on Friday.

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“In March and April, us, Belgians, have shown that we can do this. That we can make these figures go down,” said De Croo on Friday. “And we can do it again, I am sure of it.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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