Belgium further toughens restrictions without reaching confinement

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“There is no rule or any law that can defeat the virus, the only ones who can achieve it are us with our collective behavior,” the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, following the new consultation committee held by the Belgian authorities. Federal government and regional governments have agreed tighten restrictions even further to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which continues to advance, with an average number of infections close to 10,000 a day, more than 300 hospitalizations and thirty deaths. There will be no confinement of the population but extend limitations to sport, culture, higher education and youth activities.

The objective of this new twist is to complete the decisions taken last week – closure of restaurants and bars and a curfew among other measures – and achieve a Balance to keep the economy going, primary and secondary schools open, hospitals not to reach saturation and maintain the mental health of Belgians.

“The announced measures will be in force until November 19 but will depend above all on our behavior. No rule, no law can defeat the virus. We must become a solid team of 11 million Belgians to defeat it,” de Croo insisted, warning of a general worsening of the figures that forces to press “the pause button” to establish a security perimeter around the most important elements of society. “The duration of the measures will depend on our collective behavior. If we manage to become a supportive team, a team that works in one direction, we can defeat the virus,” he warned.

Limitations in sport

The authorities have adopted three measures on this ground. The professional competitions They can continue but from this Friday they will have to be held without an audience in the stands. In the case of amateur competitions They will be postponed although those under 18 will be able to continue competing. Of course, they can only be accompanied by a father or mother. In addition, it will be forbidden to consume drinks or food near the land and the public must wear a mask. Training sessions, especially outside, may continue as normal, indoor sports will be allowed, although guaranteeing a distance of 1.5 meters, while those under 12 years of age may engage in contact sports and the pools will remain open.

The number of University students it will be limited to 20% in auditoriums with the exception of college freshmen. In this case, the face-to-face classes must be 50%. In compulsory, primary and secondary education, five-day face-to-face classes will continue to be the rule.

Maintenance of cultural activities

Despite the tightening of restrictions, the Belgian authorities have decided to maintain the cultural activities although with even stricter protocols. There may be a maximum of 40 people, although it is possible to guarantee a physical distance, it will be possible to raise this figure (as long as a mask is worn) up to 200 people. The amusement parks will, however, be closed although the zoos may remain open.

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