Starting this Monday, Belgium once again has a new set of coronavirus rules to contend with, as announced by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Friday.
“The coronavirus situation in our country has stabilised,” De Croo said. “Our figures are better than in most other countries in Europe, thanks to our perseverance.”
“However, that does not mean that the danger is over. We have seen that there are some new variants, that are highly contagious. That is why we have to build dams,” he said.
Anyone could be forgiven for slightly losing track by this point, so here are the key changes in the new measures which begin today:
Non-essential travel will be banned temporarily from Wednesday 27 January until 1 March, for journeys both to and from Belgium. Exceptions for professional and family reasons, for example, will be possible.
Longer Quarantines: All travellers from the UK, South Africa and South America have to respect a ten-day quarantine, with testing on day 1 and day 7.
The mandatory isolation period for people who test positive for Covid-19 will be increased from seven to ten days.
More Tests on Non-residents: Non-residents travelling to Belgium will have to present a double test: one at departure and one on arrival. The test once in the country can either be a PCR test or a rapid antigen test.
School Rules: Primary school students who have sat in class or in the cafeteria next to a student who has been infected with the coronavirus are now considered high-risk contacts. This means that they will also have to observe the quarantine and be tested, said Saturday the public health institute Sciensano.
The next meeting of the committee will be held on Friday 5 February, when the situation for holiday parks and zoos will also be evaluated. This is also when the final call will be made on the reopening of hairdressers, beauticians and other non-medical contact professions announced for 13 February, as long as figures evolve favourably.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the new measures, see here.