Belgium: no big events until August 31 due to Covid-19
Viviane Vaz for Id International
(Brussels, 16 Apr 2020.)
The Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced yesterday, during the meeting of the National Security Council (CNS), that the quarantine measures will be extended until May 3 in order to continue fighting against Covid-19 spread in Belgium. She also announced some new measures, highlighting they are not “a relaxation of the basic instructions”.
These are the new rules:
All mass events are prohibited until August 31. It means musical festivals such as Tomorrowland, Pukkelpop and Rock Werchter will have to wait for 2021 edition. 😢
Schools remain closed, at least until May 3. 📚
Container parks will reopen.🗑️
Gardening shops and DIY (do-it-yourself) stores will be reopen next April 20, if they ensure their customers respect the safety distances already applied in food stores. The authorities think this will help many people, since keeping a garden is a sustainable way to de-stress.🌱
Residents living in rest homes will have the option to receive visits from one beloved person. The visitor must prove he or she had no coronavirus symptoms during 15 days preceding this visit. In Flandres, the authorities are requesting more time to think over this measure, since it’s considered dangerous. 🤔
Construction sites can resume work as long as the safety distances are observed. 👷
Online homework will continue to be the best option even after May 3. 🕹️
Wilmès warned Belgium has not reached the stage to stop the confinement yet. “Today, nobody can say when we will be able to resume the normal course of our life. The road is long. We must show perseverance”, she added. A new meeting of the National Security Council is already scheduled for next week to discuss how to end the quarantine in Belgium. “We will work step by step to prevent the disease from coming back. We have not yet come to the end of the road. But we will get there,” Wilmès concluded.
As the European Comission also requested yesterday, all EU member states should prepare to open gradually, based on the findings of scientists, as well as hospital capacity.
Last but not least, the Federation of Belgian Enterprise (FEB) advises businesses in Belgium to prepare themselves for getting back to work from May 3. Nevertheless, the date is still to be confirmed by the next round of meetings of the National Security Council.