Belgium introduces new coronavirus restrictions
BRUSSELS. KAZINFORM - The Belgian government on Friday decided to tighten restrictions in order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, Anadolu Agency reports.
The Belgian federal government introduced for the third time in three weeks stricter COVID-19 measures amid the rising number of infections and hospitalizations across the country.
«This situation is no longer sustainable. In a situation like this, one has to adapt. That’s why we have to take measures,» Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a news conference.
He pointed out that that the country had one of the highest infections in Europe, and admitted that they had underestimated the severity of the fourth wave.
A great part of the new measures concern education and school children.
The obligation of wearing a face mask will be extended to children over 6 years of age when they are indoors in public venues, including during classes.
If more than two COVID-19 cases are detected in the same class, every student has to stay at home for the quarantine period.
Extracurricular activities in schools will be canceled.
In pre-schools and primary schools, the Christmas holiday will start earlier, on Dec. 20, and teachers will receive their booster shots. High schools have to switch to hybrid education providing half of the classes online.
As of Monday, a maximum of 200 people can attend indoor events provided all of them wear masks.
Outdoor events, including the Christmas markets, can still be organized, but attendees should wear masks and show the COVID pass before entry.
The government did not reintroduce the previous requirement of so-called «social bubbles» limiting the number of contacts for each household, but they asked everyone to consider seriously how many people they welcome in their homes.
On Thursday, Belgium recorded 23,113 new infections while the daily average was 18,528 over the past week.
Some 48 people also died from COVID-19 on Thursday, including the Vatican’s envoy to the EU Aldo Giordano, who died at the intensive care unit of a hospital in Brussels, according to Vatican News.