Belgium continues with severe lockdown and closes non-essential trade again
Precautions have been taken and more severe confinement measures have been carried out to try to avoid infections and hospitalizations due to covid 19, so bars and restaurants have been closed in Belgium since November last year and non-essential trips to other countries are banned at least until April 18. Even so, infections continue to skyrocket day after day, as do hospitalizations. A situation that has led the Belgian Government to once again tighten the confinement. Non-essential businesses will have to close their doors, contact activities suspended, such as hair salons, and schools will be closed for a total of three weeks, including the two Easter holidays.
"It is heavy to make these decisions but if we do not take them, the consequences will be even more serious than we know today," justified this Wednesday Alexander de Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, one of the 19 European countries where infections are growing and where the British variant has become the main one. "We are in a third wave and we are going to overcome it as we did with the previous ones. The situation is not the same as in October, now we have vaccinations," De Croo insisted on the reasons for confining back to the country for the next four weeks.
Non-essential shops, including hairdressers or beauty salons, will close their doors from this Saturday, although customers will be able to receive customers by appointment to pick up purchases. The schools will do it next Monday, with the exception of early childhood education, which will remain closed until April 19, when the Easter holidays end with a week of distance classes. "The rate of infection among young people is very high and children contaminate their parents who can contaminate other people," explained the prime minister on the reason for extending to stop classes from next week. The camps and activities may continue during the holiday break, although in small groups of a maximum of ten children and abroad for adolescents and young people between 12 and 18 years of age.
The restrictions also include the reduction of groups abroad. From now on, only four people can get together instead of the 10 allowed for a month. Inside it will be limited to one person. In addition, teleworking will continue to be the norm and the curfew will be maintained, between midnight and 5 am in Wallonia and Flanders and between 10 pm and 6 am in Brussels capital. The objective of these restrictions is to cut the spread of the virus with the aim of relaxing the restrictions in May, when the restaurant sector is scheduled to open again, and to achieve a calm summer. "Everything will depend on our behavior and vaccinations," said De Croo.