Antwerp announces extra coronavirus restrictions

Antwerp announces extra coronavirus restrictions
Credit: Belga

As Antwerp continues to record climbing coronavirus figures, the city will tighten several of its restrictions from Saturday 25 July, mayor Bart De Wever announced on Wednesday.

In recent days, several experts have called to place (parts of) Antwerp back in lockdown following local outbreaks to stop the virus from spreading further.

De Wever announced six additional coronavirus measures via Twitter, saying that it was an "important message to the people of Antwerp," due to the increasing number of infections in the city.

1. Without exception, restaurants, bars, cafes and other hospitality establishments will be closed in the event of blatant violations of the coronavirus measures, even if it concerns a first violation.

2. A registration obligation for the hospitality industry, in which the contact details of customers must registered.

3. A face mask obligation at all markets and fairs. The obligation will also apply in all areas open to the public, unless one is seated for consumption or in static activities where sufficient distance can be guaranteed (e.g. using a fitness machine at a sufficient distance from others). In other words, anyone who goes to the toilet in the café or walks through a fitness room will be required to wear a face mask.

4. A ban on high-risk consumption behaviour such as sharing alcoholic beverages or shisha.

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5. A ban on the sale of alcohol for take-away between midnight and 7:00 AM in order to counteract a change of location after the closing time of the hospitality industry (at 1:00 AM).

6. The rules for events remain in force, but there will be a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people when this happens outside the strict family context, or when the distance rules are not respected.

On Tuesday, De Wever already announced that he wanted to introduce specific measures as soon as there was a script available for how mayors could handle local outbreaks.

The measures for Antwerp will be incorporated in police regulations that will be published on Friday morning, at the latest.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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