Belgium in Brief: Could Belgium Lock Down?

Belgium in Brief: Could Belgium Lock Down?
Credit: Belga/Pexels

The news broke last night that France will enter into lockdown from this afternoon, but no such measures have been imposed in Belgium yet. What IS happening, is a raft of closures and adaptations to service so frequent and sporadic that it’s difficult to keep track of it all.

That’s where we come in, so here are some of the top stories from around the country to get you up to speed.

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1. Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 1,243 confirmed cases

185 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Tuesday.

106 of the newly infected people live in Flanders, 33 live in Wallonia, and 38 in Brussels. The FPS does not have further information on the place of residence of 8 other people. The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, has reached 1,243. Read more.

2. Coronavirus: What else has closed?

In an effort to help keep track of what’s open (and what isn’t), here are some of the bigger announcements of events, activities and stores that have closed as a result of action against the spread of the coronavirus. Read more.

3. Belgium called on to go into all-out lockdown as EU mulls border closures

Belgium is facing calls to mirror steps taken by other EU countries and hike up containment measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bart De Wever, leader of the N-VA, said the government must double down on measures to slow down the spread of the virus among the population, in comments which come less than one week after bars, restaurants and leisure sites were forced to shut and school lessons suspended. Read more.

4. Around 300 ravers defy government coronavirus advice

Some 300 persons attended a rave party in Tenneville, Luxembourg Province, on Saturday night, despite a ban on gatherings aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, the local press reported.

The revellers partied in an abandoned building on the N89, close to the Idelux industrial landfill. Police from the Famenne-Ardenne, Centre-Ardenne and Semois-et-Lesse zones together with federal police agents swooped down on the building and broke up the party. According to local press reports, there were no incidents. Read more.

5. Coronavirus: Belgium begins shutting down services for asylum-seekers

Services and reception centres for asylum-seekers in Belgium have started shutting down and turning away newcomers in efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Federal Immigration Office said it would close down and no longer review new or existing applications for political asylum from Tuesday. Read more.

6. Delhaize bans shopping baskets to fight coronavirus

Supermarket chain Delhaize has taken new steps to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, like banning shopping baskets.

“Using shopping baskets is no longer allowed, people are only allowed to use a shopping trolley. Among other things to maintain distance between customers,” Delhaize spokesperson Roel Dekelver told Bruzz. “In stores without carts, the baskets will still be there, but Delhaize asks customers to bring their own bag as much as possible,” he added. Read more.

7. Is Belgium still open to tourists?

To contain the further spread of the coronavirus, the government recommended that Belgians stop travelling abroad. But can tourists still visit Belgium?

“The Belgian borders are still open,” said Karl Lagatie, a Foreign Affairs spokesperson to The Brussels Times, meaning that tourists are still allowed to enter the country. Read more.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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