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Coronavirus: Antwerp allows more shops to open on Sunday

The Meir, a major Antwerp shopping street. Credit: Belga

Shops in Antwerp outside of the historical city centre will be allowed to open on Sundays until the end of the year.

Shops within the city centre were already allowed to open on Sundays. Allowing those outside the centre to open as well “ensures a better spread” of people, according to Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever.

While city officials argue that it is safer to expand the number of shops where people can go on Sundays, they will continue to monitor how busy it is, “both on the ground and with digital monitoring systems, and are well prepared to take appropriate measures if necessary,” said De Wever.

The announcement comes at a time when Sciensano virologist Steven Van Gucht has said that “the cards are in our hands” as to how the coronavirus pandemic will go, and a professor at the University of Brussels has argued in favour of a “short, strict lockdown,” urging the government to call on the population to respect the rules “as a kind of last call.”

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In a meeting on Thursday, the mayors of the province of Antwerp decided to take additional Covid-19 measures for the upcoming holiday period.

Among other things, they will crack down on gatherings, going so far as to check “how many pizzas will be delivered” to any given home, according to the province’s governor Cathy Berx.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times