Both conditions for the implementation of the next phase of Belgium’s ‘Summer Plan’ have now been reached, as more than 70% of adults in the country have received their first coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday.
Following the ‘Summer Plan’ that was presented by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo after a Consultative Committee in early May, Belgium can “move towards a more normal life” in four steps, if the vaccination campaign progresses smoothly.
The first phase started on 9 June with the reopening of the indoor hospitality industry, and the second will be taken a few days early – this weekend, instead of on 1 July – when more social contacts and more people at events will be allowed.
The third phase of the ‘Summer Plan’ is currently scheduled to start on 30 July, but the conditions that were necessary for its implementation have already been met: 70.2% of all over-18s in Belgium now received at least a first dose, and fewer than 500 Covid-19 patients are in ICU.
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals’ intensive care beds is even currently at 184, far below the 500-threshold that was reached at the end of May, with a trend that has clearly been decreasing since then.
When the third stage of the plan goes into force, indoor events can take place with up to 3,000 people, and outdoor events with up to 5,000. From 13 August, outdoors mass events, such as music festivals, will even be allowed with proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test.
Parties and receptions will again be allowed with a maximum of 250 people indoors (following the rules for the hospitality industry), and youth activities and camps can take place up to 200 people, with overnight stays.
For the fourth and final step of the ‘Summer Plan’ to take effect on 1 September as planned, 70% of all adults in the country have to be fully vaccinated.
As of Wednesday 23 June, 39,2% of the adult population in Belgium has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but the intention is to exceed this threshold in August.