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    Belgium in Brief: Updated Lockdown Measures

    Credit: Stock Image/Belga

    For some it’s day 2 of the Easter break, for others it’s just another day, but we’re still here to keep you up to speed.

    While Austria, Denmark and even Wuhan made headlines with announced plans to phase out their lockdown, Belgium remains quiet on the issue.

    So what is going on? This week has already revealed some pertinent information, including a dedicated data server for Belgium’s coronavirus infection, and some adaptations to the current lockdown rules, as the country passes 22,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.

    With so much information, and so little time to catch up before it potentially changes again, here are some of the top stories from around the country to get you up to speed.

    Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:



    1. Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 22,194 confirmed cases

    1,380 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Tuesday.

    The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 22,194.

    314 new patients were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of people in the hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 6,012. Read more.

    2. Coronavirus data in Belgium: Who, what & where?

    Amid cries for data on the current coronavirus outbreak, Sciensano, the Belgian Institute for health, has stepped into the fray with an interactive dashboard accessible to all.

    Showing data ranging from the fact that Flanders has more than twice as many cases as Wallonia, to the fact that Brussels has the highest number of infections per 100,000 people.

    The dashboard is updated daily, and consists of the tabs ‘cases’, ‘hospitalizations’ and ‘deaths’. It is possible to filter the data per country region, per province, gender or age group, shown for the period of time you choose. Read more.

    3. New guidelines: car rides allowed for young families

    Families with children of maximum 5 years old can take the car for recreational activities, according to the updated guidelines. Up until now, the car was only for essential journeys, such as going to the doctor or the supermarket.

    People with reduced mobility, such as elderly people and pregnant women, can also take the car. There is also an exemption for people accompanying someone with a physical or mental disability. Read more.

    4. How to enjoy the Easter Holiday responsibly

    With the better weather and the Easter break, it’s time to look at what you can do to enjoy the weather, while solidly obeying current lockdown measures. 

    “The coming days promise to be sunny, and even summery. Ideal to enjoy the first sunshine with your family, all while, of course, respecting the well-known measures. Stick to them, even with this beautiful weather,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the Crisis Centre. Read more.

    5. Brussels hotel to shelter domestic violence victims amid coronavirus quarantine

    Victims facing domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown are being offered shelter in a Brussels hotel hired to provide relief to official refuges.

    Francophone authorities hired a hotel in Brussels, whose address is being kept secret, which has a capacity for around 50 women, alone or with children.

    The hotel has 25 rooms in total which can be outfitted with up to four beds and guests are also given access to a kitchen and a meeting room. Read more.

    6. Weddings, outings and telecom shops: Belgium’s lockdown measures updated

    Belgium has issued an update on the nationwide lockdown measures to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic including clarifications to family events and outings.

    Published in the Official Journal of Belgium following a meeting of the National Security Council on 3 April, the update aimed to clarify and update the impact of social distancing measures on “social community” activities. Read more.

    7. Wuhan ends lockdown

    Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, is set to lift its final lockdown restrictions on Wednesday at midnight.

    Authorities are set to take the final steps for the city of 11 million, a population the size of Belgium’s, to return to life before a stringent lockdown was first imposed over two and a half months ago on 23 January. Read more.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times