LCafés and restaurants will be able to serve their customers indoors from Wednesday, thanks to progress in the fight against the pandemic, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced at a press conference on Friday.
This reopening, which is part of a plan to gradually lift restrictions in the country, had already been announced on May 11. However, it remained suspended from the evolution of the circulation of the coronavirus responsible for Covis-19.
“The positive figures allow us from June 9 to take this first step,” said Mr. De Croo, after a consultation meeting with various political leaders of the country. He also announced an extension of hours. Establishments will now be able to open in the morning from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. After almost seven months of closure, they reopened under conditions, on the terrace only, on May 8.
Events, teleworking …
The easing of constraints from Wednesday includes a series of other measures. Thus, office work will be authorized for everyone one day a week. Sports shows or competitions can accommodate up to 200 people indoors, seated public, and up to 400 outdoors, while also respecting the wearing of mask and safety distances.
Flea markets or flea markets will again be authorized. Cinemas, bowling alleys, sports halls or saunas may also reopen provided certain ventilation criteria are met.
At home, citizens will have the right to invite up to four people (excluding children) to their home.
“We are seeing a very sharp drop in the number of people in intensive care,” said De Croo, citing the figure of 341 Covid patients in total in these hospital units.
Going below the 500 threshold was one of the essential conditions to allow the first relaxations of the “Summer Plan”.
In addition, more than 4.8 million Belgians, or 53% of the adult population, have already received at least a first dose of vaccine, argued the Prime Minister. Stressing that this campaign was still far from over, he warned of the danger of more resistant variants of the virus and called for the continuation of barrier gestures.
“This summer will unfortunately not be like the others yet, but if we respect the ground rules we can really hope to have a pleasant summer. Enjoy the summer, ”said the Flemish liberal leader.
Regarding travel abroad, he explained that Belgians who travel this summer could use the European health certificate. It will be possible to return from red areas, without the obligation of quarantine, “on condition of being completely vaccinated for at least two weeks or of being able to present a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours or a certificate of cure”.
However, a ten-day quarantine will remain mandatory upon return from certain countries highly exposed to new variants. Travel outside the EU is strongly discouraged.