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Exit Plan: What could change from 18 May?

Credit: Belga

Following Wednesday’s meeting of the Belgian National Security Council, there have been further clarifications on how the exit strategy will progress in the coming stages.

The intricacies of Belgium’s Phase 2, scheduled for 18 May, remain dependent on how the current changes play out. However, it could see a number of much-sought changes being enacted in the country, most notably – a restart to education.

If the evolution of the virus allows it, schools will gradually reopen from Monday 18 May, with pilot projects already starting on Friday 15 May, when the first and second grade of primary education and the 6th and 7th grade of secondary education can restart.

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“Together with the experts, we are looking at what is possible at markets, museums, libraries, zoos, among others. We are also investigating whether hairdressers and beauty centres can open again and whether more people are allowed at weddings and funerals,” said Prime Minister Wimès at the press conference.

The decision on tourist trips and visiting a second residence will only be looked into at a later date. Bars, restaurants and cafes are expected to remain closed at that time as well. 

“Covid-19 will remain in our lives,” said Wilmès. “The virus continues to infect people, people continue to be hospitalised and people continue to die. We will not hesitate to reverse the measures if the situation worsens again,” she added.

From Sunday 10 May, people living under the same roof will be allowed to receive up to 4 people in their home, always the same people. These people will not be allowed to visit anywhere else. The physical distance must also be kept at all times, and if there is a terrace or a garden, it is preferable that they stay outside.

Children are also included in this group of four people who are allowed to visit. Grandchildren are also allowed to visit their grandparents, but it is important to keep the necessary distance. Visits are not allowed if one of the visitors or family members is ill.

Jules Johnston & Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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