From Wednesday at noon, Belgium will implement "far-reaching measures" to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday evening, Interim Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced a number of measures decided on by the National Security Council to contain the further spread of the coronavirus in Belgium. The measures will go into force from Wednesday at 12:00 noon, until 5 April.
-Everyone must stay at home, and avoid contact with other people as much as possible.
-People are allowed to leave home to go to work, to buy food, to go to the bank, the post office, the doctor, the pharmacy and to fill up the car with gas.
-Physical activity in the open air is also still allowed, and even recommended, with one family member, or a friend or acquaintance, provided sufficient distance is kept.
-All non-essential stores will be closed during the week.
-Food stores, stores for animal food and pharmacies will remain open all week, but must comply with social distancing.
-Night shops can stay open until 10:00 PM, but must also comply with social distancing.
-Working from home will become the norm. If that is not possible, people are only allowed to go to work if the employer can comply with all safety regulations.
-All gatherings are strictly forbidden.
-Public transport is allowed to keep running if social distancing can be guaranteed.
-All non-essential travel abroad is prohibited.
-Hairdressers are allowed to remain open, but can only have one client at a time.
-Creches will remain open.
The police will ensure that all measures are complied with.
Update: This story had been updated to clarify the specific stores that will be open (and when).
Maïthé Chini and Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times