The Belgian National Security Council made this Tuesday March 17, 2020 the decision to reinforce the measures already taken to fight against the coronavirus. These new measures come into force on Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 12 noon and will remain in effect until at least April 5, 2020.
Personal hygiene guidelines as well as social distancing measures remain the best actions that everyone must respect. Their strict respect by everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, is a necessity to counter the virus. Everyone's civic sense and a spirit of solidarity with the weakest are essential.
However, further efforts are needed to counter the further spread of the virus. It is crucial now to take and respect other measures.
What does this mean in concrete terms?
- Everyone must stay at home as much as possible to limit outside contact.
- You can leave your home to:
Go to a grocery store
Go to the doctor
Go to the pharmacy
Go to the post office ATM
Go to the bank counter
Go to the petrol station
Provide assistance to vulnerable people.
- Non-essential stores are closed except:
Hair salons (one client at a time)
Night shops (until 10 p.m.)
Everyone must of course respect social distances
- All food stores remain open.
Access to supermarkets will be controlled in order to limit the number of people present at the same time inside (maximum 1 person per 10 m² and this, for maximum 30 minutes per person).
- Markets are closed, unless they are essential for the food supply and insofar as the local authority can guarantee measures of social distancing.
- Stores mainly selling animal feed are covered by the definition of food stores and may remain open.
- Outdoor physical activities (walking, running, biking) are recommended but only between people living under the same roof or with a friend and limiting contact with others (1.5 meter distance).
- Any other gathering is prohibited.
- Hotels, restaurants and cafés must bring in their outdoor patio furniture.
- Public transport must be organized in such a way that social distancing can be guaranteed.
- Companies of all sizes can continue their activities provided they organize telework as much as possible or if they can guarantee measures of social distancing. If this is not possible, they must close. In the event of non-compliance with this measure, sanctions will be applied. This does not apply to crucial sectors and essential services.
- All non-essential travel abroad is prohibited.
Local and federal police will ensure strict compliance with the measures taken to fight against the coronavirus and help health professionals.
We are all committed to act now.
Social distancing should be applied as strictly as possible.
Stay at home, take care of yourself and others!
The full statement (in French) of the Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès can be found here.