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COVID-19 news update - Phase 4 of deconfinement from 1 July!

24 Jun 2020 6:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

On 24 June 2020 the Belgian National Security Council has agreed to move into phase 4 of the deconfinement from 1 July on the basis of the agreement of the COVID-19 expert group and the continuing good evolution of the epidemiological situation.

A translation of the press release from the Prime Minister, Sophie Wilm├Ęs is reproduced below.

The six golden rules remain in effect, namely:

  • Respect for hygiene rules.
  • Favouring outdoor activities.
  • Taking extra precautions for those at risk.
  • Respect for safety distances.
  • The extended bubble rule which increases from 10 to 15 different people per week in addition to the home. As a reminder, this right is individual.
  • Group activities cannot exceed 15 people, children included. This applies to all unsupervised meetings, regardless of whether they take place at home or outside the home.

It will now be possible to open under certain conditions:

  • Swimming pools and wellness centres.
  • Amusement parks and indoor playgrounds.
  • Theatres and cinemas.
  • Casinos and game rooms.
  • Congress halls.
  • Reception and party rooms with a maximum of 50 people.

Among the conditions is the application of protocols. In addition, the general rules which are already in force for other activities will apply such as the compulsory respect of safety distances, the establishment of time slots and crowd management, the cleaning of infrastructure and the wearing of face masks, which remains highly recommended.

Other activities cannot restart at this stage:

  • Nightlife activities such as nightclubs.
  • Mass events.

However, it will be possible to organise activities from 1 July in the presence of an audience, under certain conditions which are set out in protocols.

For regular events organized in permanent structures such as theatres, cinemas, galleries, congress halls, protocols will therefore be drawn up with the competent ministers and members of the expert group.

For one-off events in a public space, an online tool will be available on 1 July and will serve as a reference for local authorities in granting permits for these events. Specific rules will also have to be applied.

For all these events, there is a capacity limit set at:

  • 200 people indoors.
  • 400 people outside.

This capacity limit will be reassessed in August to 400 people indoors and 800 outdoors maximum, if the health situation allows. An exception may be requested for permanent infrastructure with a seated public that exceeds this limit, but is able to respect health rules.

The maximum number of outdoor participants will also apply to events. These must always be subject to an authorisation request from the local authorities. In any case, they must always be static and take place in a place where the safety distances can be respected.

In parallel, in addition to the resumption of these activities, certain protocols will be relaxed from July 1:

The possibility to go to the store with people from your contact bubble and without time limit. The safety distance always applies.

Removal of the limit on the number of stalls for markets, but health protocols and regulations should continue to apply.

Regarding the approaching National Day, the traditional military and civil parade will now take another form to comply with health regulations. Different artistic performances in symbolic places will highlight the country and its artists and will be broadcast on television. A detailed communication on the event(s) will be made later.

About the longer-term perspectives, the start of the school year is already in full preparation. The education ministers, in collaboration with the expert group, have put in place a colour-coded system that indicates how schools should organise themselves depending on the health situation. Education ministers will explain the plan in more detail at a press conference.

The full press release (in French) can be found here.

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