COVID-19 selected news snippets for Thursday, 14 May 2020.
Yesterday, the Belgian government announced a further relaxation of measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Monday, 18 May, the following measures will apply:
Telework, where possible, remains the norm during this phase.
Secondary and primary schools will open again to a limited extent, however nurseries remain closed at this stage and higher education has already started organising the end of the academic year with the region’s authorities.
Museums and historical buildings can also open, provided that tickets are sold online or by telephone and that social distancing rules are observed.
Libraries remain open under the same conditions as today.
Zoos and animal parks as well as attractions and playgrounds may reopen with an approved circulation plan, however their restaurants must remain closed and only a limited number of visitors may be admitted.
Most contact professions, such as hairdressers and beauticians, can be restart, but ‘by appointment’ only and customers and staff must wear masks and keep a safe distance.
For markets, there is also the green light (provided consent of the local authorities is obtained) for a maximum of 50 stalls with an approved circulation plan and mandatory face masks for market vendors and staff with mask also highly recommended for customers.
In the open air, regular sports training and lessons can be resumed under the guidance of a coach, social distancing must be respected and a maximum of 20 people may participate at one time.
Planning a wedding or funeral? From now on it will be possible to receive a maximum of 30 people at ceremonies, under certain conditions, including social distancing, but it is not allowed to organise a reception after the ceremony.
The next step (phase 3) of relaxation will not start before 8 June. Then a detailed plan for culture and sports will probably be laid out. More clarity is also expected regarding tourism and for restaurants and cafés, social contacts, religious services, youth camps, events of various sizes, etc. What is already known is that all cultural, sporting, tourist and recreational events are prohibited until 30 June and that there may be no return to normality this summer.
Full government statement (in French) here.
Sciensano stats update of 14 May. 307 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 31 (10%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 54 288 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 5 535 (10%) cases located in Brussels.
In the past 24 hours, only 81 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 173 people left hospital. Between 15 March and 13 May, a total of 16 473 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 14 111 people have left.
60 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 9 (15%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 8 903 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 374 (15%) were in Brussels.
Currently 407 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units in Belgian hospitals.
Read the daily report (in French) here.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)