Other cities or provinces in Belgium may follow a move by authorities in Antwerp and impose a curfew if coronavirus flare-ups continue, federal officials said.
Local or provincial officials may choose to impose curfews in order to keep the new coronavirus from spreading locally, a Crisis Centre communication officer said on Wednesday.
“Imposing a curfew is one of several measures that local authorities can deploy if the epidemic evolves in a problematic manner on their territory,” Antoine Iseux told reporters during a press conference on the coronavirus.
Iseux said that there were currently no plans to impose a curfew beyond the provincial territory of Antwerp, where authorities are in a race against the clock to beat back a “worrying” surge of new coronavirus cases.
Amid a general tightening of social-contact rules throughout Belgium, Antwerp Governor Cathy Berx imposed a late-night curfew on the province, set to begin tonight and last for the next four weeks.
According to officials with the Crisis Centre, which oversees the national response to the coronavirus in Belgium, sticking to the measures in the coming four weeks is crucial to slow the virus’ recent acceleration in Belgium.
“The next few weeks will be difficult. The hunger for social contacts is extra high during the summer, but we will all have to through our agendas and cancel planned appointments,” spokesman Yves Stevens said.
“Limiting our social contacts to the maximum is the only option to flattening the curve,” he added.
Belgium’s daily infection average rose again on Wednesday to reach 328 new infections per day over a 7-day period, up from last week’s 7-day average of 193 new daily infections.