Belgium is once again imposing strict lockdown measures in the face of rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and deaths, announced Prime Minister Alexander De Croo during a press conference on Friday.
“Our country is in a state of sanitary emergency. The pressure is immense, as you have undoubtedly seen in recent days,” said De Croo. “At the moment, there is only one choice, and that is for all of us to support our care sector as much as we can. We have to limit our physical contacts as much as possible.”
“We are going back in a strict lockdown, which has only one purpose: to ensure that our health care system does not collapse,” De Croo said.
The measures will take effect on Sunday night, and will remain in force until 13 December. They will be evaluated on 1 December.
Receiving visitors at home is no longer allowed, with the exception of one ‘cuddle contact’. People who live alone are allowed to have two cuddle contacts.
Outdoors, gatherings can still take place with a maximum of four people, while respecting the social distance and wearing face masks.
Non-essential shops will be closed. Picking up products remains possible.
The autumn holidays will be extended even further: schools will remain closed until 15 November.
Teleworking will be made mandatory. If that is not possible, face masks and social distance are obligatory.
Bars and restaurants in hotels will also close. The hotels may remain open, but food must be served in the room.
Non-medical professions requiring close contact, such as hairdressers and estheticians, will be shut down.
The Brussels Times