“Our country is in a state of health emergency. The pressure is immense, as you have no doubt seen in recent days, “Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Friday. Brussels Time. “Right now, there is only one choice and that is for all of us to support our healthcare sector as much as we can. We need to limit our physical contact as much as possible. “

“We are returning to a strict deadlock that has one purpose: to make sure our health care system does not collapse,” De Croo said.

The measures will take effect on Sunday evening and will remain valid until December 13, and will be evaluated on December 1.

Measures to take effect

  • Receiving visitors to the home is no longer allowed, except for one so-called “hug partner”. People living alone can have two embracing partners.

  • Non-essential business needs to close. Only grocery stores and pharmacies can remain open.

  • Non-medical activities that involve direct contact with people – such as those performed, for example, by barbers – are stopped.

  • Schools will remain closed until November 15. The primary school students will go to school after November 15, and for the others a mixed online / face-to-face teaching system will be established. In higher education, activities will take place remotely until the end of the academic year, but some first-year students will be able to physically attend classes in certain circumstances after December 1st.

  • Telework is mandatory. If this is not possible, the mask and ventilation become mandatory at work

  • Amusement parks and zoos will be closed.

  • Funerals are limited to a maximum of 15 people without meals.

  • Hotels may remain open, but catering services must be provided in the room, not at the hotel restaurant or other similar areas.

  • Prohibitions on moving during the night remain in force.

Belgium hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic

Belgium faced one of the highest mortality rates during the first wave of the spring pandemic. Belgium currently has the highest infection rate in Europe and more than half of the approximately 2,000 intensive care beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, writes BBC.

In the last two weeks, there have been 1,600 infections and 8.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in Belgium, according to public data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

The total mortality rate in Belgium is one of the highest in the European Union, being surpassed only by that in the Czech Republic. More than 11,300 people have died in a country of about 11.5 million.