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What is on Belgium’s Security Council’s agenda today?

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s National Security Council is meeting on Thursday 23 July to discuss the measures that will be taken to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further now that cases continue to rise.

Last Wednesday, the Security Council decided to postpone a decision on whether or not to enter Phase 5 of Belgium’s exit plan out of lockdown from 1 August and see how the situation would evolve.

Following several meetings during the past few days, the conclusion seems to be that the next phase of relaxations will not go through, and that, instead, restrictions will be announced again.

A possible extension of the list of public places that oblige citizens to wear a face mask is on the agenda, according to Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block.

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Scripts that specify which measures mayors can follow if local outbreaks occur within their municipality will also be discussed.

A way to better keep track of returning travellers is also on the agenda. It is possible that people returning from holiday by car, train, bus or plane will have to fill in a digital form 48 hours before their arrival in Belgium.

Attendance lists for events are a possibility, after the contact tracing team asked for the measures. If someone at an event turns out to be infected, the organiser could then be asked to hand over the list so everyone could be contacted.

The ‘contact bubble‘ of 15 others that people are allowed to see every week could also be made smaller, as Belgian health institute Sciensano already warned to limit social contact outside your own household as much as possible.

Extra restrictions for businesses in the hospitality sector, such as cafes and restaurants, are reportedly also on the table, mostly with regard to earlier closing times.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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