Belgium recommended strict new measures in leaked document: What are they?

Belgium recommended strict new measures in leaked document: What are they?
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A leaked document from Belgium’s coronavirus expert group (GEMS), which advises the government, has called for sweeping changes in the country as the virus continues to spread. 

The document, first reported on by Le Soir, has outlined recommendations from the group. These recommendations are not generally made public but are used by the Consultative Committee to then decide what measures to introduce.

It is not, however, a guarantee of new measures.

Here’s what has been suggested: 

Closing nightlife: The group suggested a temporary closure of nightlife and all high-risk activities where the face mask and social distance cannot be respected. This means contact sports and student activities, among others.  

For a period of 3-4 weeks, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) would only be valid for vaccinated people or those who have recently recovered from the virus, with the addition of a test at the entrance.

In practice, this means that a negative test result alone would no longer be sufficient to gain access to certain venues, such as nightclubs.

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Smaller weddings: Weddings and private parties would be allowed a maximum of 50 people with a CST and a negative self-test. 

Space at the cinema: Entertainment venues (theatres, cinemas, concert halls) must have good ventilation, social distancing and attendees must wear face masks. 

Smaller groups: While “bubbles” are not quite back, the group has suggested limiting contacts to five or fewer a day.

Mandatory teleworking: The group suggested making teleworking mandatory until the Christmas Holidays.

Masks in schools: Masks should be worn from the age of 9 in schools (fourth grade) and anywhere else where a mask is already needed. Experts believe that the virus is transmitted particularly among the youngest and that the mask can help to create a barrier. 

This advice comes ahead of the next meeting of Belgium’s Consultative Committee, which has been brought forward to Wednesday and is expected to discuss new measures for the country.

The decision as to whether these recommendations come into effect will be taken then. Following the meeting, a press conference will be held to announce the latest changes, the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed to The Brussels Times.


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