What’s on the agenda for Belgium’s National Security Council today?
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    What’s on the agenda for Belgium’s National Security Council today?

    With the Café Solidair campaign, people pay online for their beer in their chosen cafe, pub or brasserie now, and can drink them once the sector opens its doors again. Credit: Belga

    Belgium’s National Security Council will meet on Wednesday 3 June to discuss Phase 3 of the exit plan out of lockdown, which is set to start from 8 June.

    In a statement on her website, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said that Wednesday’s meeting would “specify the third phase, and the subsequent phases” of the exit plan.

    The possibility of more social contact will also be on the table. On 28 May, Professor Erika Vlieghe, who heads the Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy (GEES), said that she wanted to propose new social contact rules at the next meeting. The ‘rule of four’ has “hit its limit,” she said.

    A guide on how bars, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to reopen was proposed 29 May, but still needs to be approved by the National Security Council. A date for the restart has also not been decided on yet, but the date of 8 June has been put forward by several people, including Federal Minister for Work Nathalie Muylle.

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    After museums were allowed to reopen in Phase 2, the cultural sector is also hoping for more information on the restart of cinemas, theatres, and concerts.

    The resumption of sports will also be discussed, according to Wilmès, following several other countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, that have allowed to start up official competitions again. In Belgium, the fitness sector has been asking to reopen since the previous relaxation.

    If and how events of different sizes will be allowed to take place this summer will also be discussed. However, all cultural, sporting and other events remain prohibited until at least 30 June.

    Possibilities for the summer holidays, both in Belgium and abroad, will be considered, as will the reopening of the borders, following the confusion this weekend after the announcement that shopping and cross-border family visits were allowed again in neighbouring countries.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times