Belgium’s latest measures have attempted to bring unity to a country that was starting to approach similar issues in a very different way.
Published yesterday evening, a new ministerial decree which is already in force has set a new minimum requirement for the regions, but allows for them to continue to enforce stronger measures as they see fit, for example regarding curfew.
“The last thing we need today is division,” stressed Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Wednesday evening, adding that “the only battle we have to fight is against the virus.”
So, here’s the minimum measures across Belgium – which went into effect at midnight – with the major caveat that regional rules can still vary.
Bars, cafes and restaurants: takeaway possible until 10:00 PM
Cuddle contacts: Limited to max. 1 person
Cultural, festive, sports, recreational and events establishments: Closed, including cinemas, casinos, wellness centres, clubs, party and reception rooms, amusement parks, swimming pools and markets.
Curfew: Countrywide curfew in effect from midnight to 5:00 AM. Brussels & Wallonia have opted to stick with the stricter 10:00 PM- 6:00 AM
Education: rules set according to the directives of the Communities.
Private: Limited to the same 4 people, changing every 2 weeks
Public: Max 4 people, but no time frame
Hotels and other forms of accommodation: the restaurant can be open, but only for the guests staying there.
Markets: remain open, but the consumption of drinks and food is forbidden. Christmas markets & second-hand markets are forbidden.
Marriages, funerals, cremations, services: Can go ahead, with a max of 40 people.
Night Shops: Must close at 10:00 PM, cannot sell alcohol after 8:00 PM
Outdoor playgrounds, zoos, nature parks and open-air museums, libraries, religious buildings: can stay open
Shopping: shopping can only be done individually, or with a maximum of one other person for a maximum of 30 minutes (per store). In Brussels, only shopping is allowed.
Sport: Professional: competitions and training allowed, but without an audience. Amateur: competitions and training allowed, but only for under 12-year-olds, outdoor only and accompanied by 1 parent.