COVID-19 selected news snippets for Monday 8 June 2020 – Welcome to Phase 3.
We hope you all had a very enjoyable and (relatively) dry weekend. Welcome to Phase 3 of Belgium’s lockdown easement.
What can I do today, that I couldn’t do on Sunday?
Meals out, gym sessions and daytrips are back on the agenda and the rules on social contacts outside your home have been eased. The previous rule of four people outside your household is now replaced by an individual limit of 10 outside contacts per week. Gatherings - at home, in a park or in a restaurant - are allowed for up to 10 people, children included.
Cafes, bars and restaurants can reopen, with a 1.5 metre distance between tables and a maximum 10 people per group. Customers should be served at their table, and staff must wear a mask.
Sports activities without contact can return to normal - both outdoors and indoors, but changing rooms and showers must remain closed.
Church services are allowed from 8 June, with a maximum 100 people.
Excursions within Belgium - a day trip or longer - can go ahead from today.
Flea markets can reopen from 8 June, with the same 50-stall limit as other markets.
It is possible to bathe in lakes, ponds and the sea in Belgium from today (8 June), but only if lifeguards are present and it stops raining.
A new tax-free perk for employers and their staff is coming soon. The "consumer cheque" provides EUR 300 of spending money for restaurants, cafes, culture, sport and leisure - among the sectors worst-hit by the coronavirus shutdown. Employers can decide whether to offer the perk to workers and the cost is tax-exempt. It cannot be used online, only in person, to pay for, for example, a meal or a cinema ticket, buy a book or go to an amusement park.
Every resident in Belgium will be eligible for a free 10-journey SNCB rail pass for trips within the country up to the end of 2020. The surcharge for taking bikes on trains will also be lifted over the summer.
Sciensano statistics update of 8 June. 122 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 19 (16%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 59 348 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 6 075 (10%) cases located in Brussels.
In the past 24 hours, 23 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 24 people left hospital. Between 15 March and 7 June, a total of 17 477 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 16 315 people have left. Currently 116 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units in Belgian hospitals.
Only 11 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 2 (18%) were in Brussels. To date, a total 9 606 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 465 (15%) were in Brussels.
Read the daily report (in French) here.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)