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What are Belgium’s neighbours doing for lockdowns?

Credit: Belga

As Belgium reverses some of the previous relaxations on its measures against the spread of the coronavirus, many of its neighbours are facing similar spikes in infections.

So what do neighbouring countries’ current restrictions look like? De Standaard decided to take a look.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is also worried about a third wave. The lockdown there was relaxed slightly at the beginning of March: secondary school students were allowed to return to the classroom one day a week, shopping was permitted by appointment, and hairdressers and other contact professions (except for sex workers) were allowed to reopen. Young people up to 26 years of age can play sports together outside.

Measures still in place include mandatory telework where possible, one-person bubbles (or “cuddle contacts”) outside of family, and takeaway or delivery service only for restaurants and cafes. Theaters, zoos, cinemas, and amusement parks all remain closed.

A curfew from 9:00 PM to 4:30 AM has been extended until the end of this month.

Germany

Germany just walked back its plans for a total Easter lockdown, with Chancellor Angela Merkel apologising for having proposed it. They had planned for an effectively five-day complete shutdown of the country, but did so without any public discussion.

Like the Netherlands, Germany began this month with the easing of some restrictions, including when it comes to schools and hairdressers.

The lockdown that is already in place has been extended until 18 April.

France

France is also concerned about rising coronavirus infection rates. They introduced a new lockdown just last week, affecting sixteen regions (including Paris) and set to last for four weeks.

Non-essential shops have to close, but schools and hairdressers can stay open. People are allowed to leave their homes to travel up to 10 kilometres away. Those who wish to travel to other parts of the country must have a valid reason.

The areas around Nice and Dunkirk have had a weekend lockdown for a few weeks now.

In the whole of France, there is a curfew from 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, who advises the government, says stricter measures may be needed.

The UK

The UK is much further along in its vaccination campaign than its neighbours. More than half of adults in the country have already been vaccinated, and measures have been gradually relaxed.

Currently, the UK is cautioning against travelling abroad, worried that those who do so risk bringing new variants back into the country.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is still under lockdown.

Restaurants and cafes are all closed, though takeaway and delivery are allowed. The number of customers allowed to shop in stores is limited. Social distancing of two metres is required for groups of over four people, and facemasks are mandatory.

For indoor visits, two visitors are allowed but they must be from the same household.

There is a curfew from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times