News World Belgian government reinstates lockdown measures after rise in infections

Belgian government reinstates lockdown measures after rise in infections

Belgium will tighten Covid-19 containment measures on July 25 after a rise in infections, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said, requiring the use of face masks in crowded outdoor public spaces and tracing measures at restaurants and bars.

This comes about after the daily infection rate hit numbers not seen since mid-May with 32% of new cases being in the city of Antwerp.

The relatively small size of the country therefore, has forced the government to block plans to allow large gatherings as it has one of the world’s highest fatality rates per capita.

The government had initially eased the lockdown and had planned to loosen restrictions further on Thursday, but a series of localised outbreaks and a 91% spike in nationwide infections last week forced a turnaround.

“The latest figures should not throw us into panic but have to be taken seriously”, Wilmès told a news conference on Thursday.

Under the new measures, Belgians will have to wear a mask in public, including at outdoor markets, shopping streets and other crowded sites.

Tighter measures will also be imposed on bars and restaurants, where masks will become compulsory for those not seated.

Customers will also have to leave their contact details to facilitate tracing in case of localised outbreaks.

Night shops will have to close by 10 pm.

“Young adults between 20 and 30 are the most frequently affected. Although the number of infections is increasing throughout the country, we also see more local flare-ups”, Wilmès added.

With the holiday season in full flow, all returning travellers will need to fill an electronic form listing places they visited abroad before entering Belgium.

“It’s a blow to our morale but we must take action today so that we have no regrets tomorrow. We must act collectively. Everyone is an actor in this crisis”, said Wilmès.

Belgians will continue to be allowed to meet as many as 15 friends a week after the government decided against cutting the number to 10.

An easing of restrictions could be announced on September 1st potentially allowing a resumption of trade fairs.

“These rules are not advice but instructions. And as always, take care of yourself, and take care of others. And the best way to do that is by following the measures”, Wilmès concluded.

Source: Reuters London

Top Stories

Everything ready for inoculations among enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites

All necessary arrangements have been made to start inoculating against COVID-19 the enclaved population and those who repatriated in the Karpas peninsula and the...

Expert says any relaxations of COVID measures to be made gradually and aimfully

Any relaxations of COVID measures in place until the end of January should be made gradually and aimfully and with a specific procedure, member...

Roads toward Troodos open only to 4WD and vehicles with snow chains

Police are warning drivers heading to Troodos to be careful because of snow and fog and ice. The Karvounas-Troodos, Platres-Troodos and Prodromos Troodos roads are...

Health Ministry introduces new procedure for COVID inoculation appointments

Ηealth Ministry on Tuesday announced a new procedure for COVID inoculation appointments. Cyprus began the vaccination program of its population on December 27th with citizens...

Registration of motor vehicles from the UK

Following Brexit, the Road Transport Department, of the Ministry of Transport Communication and Works, announced the Regulations which now apply for the registration of...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...