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Brussels British Community Association

COVID-19 alert level 4: New stronger rules for sport, culture and higher education

23 Oct 2020 10:25 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

Today (23 October) the Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has announced a series of measures to combat COVID19 in sports, cultural events and (higher) education, in accordance with Alert level 4, that will come into force immediately.

Stricter rules are essential to avoid overwhelming hospitals, having to close all schools, to prevent the entire economy from shutting down, and not isolating too many citizens with a widespread lockdown.

The additional measures to combat COVID19 are:

  • Sporting events: All professional indoor and outdoor sports competitions will be held without an audience. All amateur competitions are suspended. Competitions for young people up to the age of 18 are still allowed, but only one family member can attend. It remains forbidden to sell or consume food and drink at these events.
  • Higher education: the occupancy rate of the premises drops to a maximum of 20% with the obligation to wear a mask, except for practical work where this is not possible. This rule does not apply to first year students.
  • Indoor events and activities (cultural, religious, educational, associative): maximum 40 people are allowed if there are sufficient guarantees that the organization of the event allows to respect the COVID rules, and maximum 200 people for compliance with the 1.5 meter distance rule and wearing a mask. The sale of food and drink is prohibited.
  • Public transport: each authority ensures, within the framework of its powers, that the capacity of public transport is optimized in order to avoid overcrowding.
  • Amusement parks are temporarily closed.
  • Animal parks: indoor spaces are closed to the public; it is forbidden to sell or consume food and drink.
  • Teleworking remains the rule. It has been decided with the employers' federations to set up a monitoring system aimed at empowering people, in order to apply the rule of teleworking as soon as possible.

In view of the urgency of the situation, these rules come into force directly and will be applicable as soon as they are published, on Friday October 23, 2020. The rules will remain in force until November 19, 2020 inclusive, with an interim evaluation after two weeks.

You are also reminded of the rules for alert level 4 which have already been in force since Monday, 19 October:

  • Close contacts are limited to 1 person maximum.
  • Private gatherings are limited to 4 people for two weeks, always the same.
  • Gatherings on public roads are limited to a maximum of 4 people.
  • Small-scale markets and fairs remain open, but the consumption of food and drink is prohibited there. Flea markets, flea markets and small Christmas markets are prohibited.
  • Cafes and restaurants will be closed. This measure is valid for a period of four weeks and will be subject to an evaluation after two weeks. On-site takeaway collection remains possible until 22h00. Receptions and banquets organized by a professional caterer or catering service are prohibited, except in hotels for clients staying there and funeral receptions (maximum 40 people).
  • Night shops must close at 22h00. The sale of alcohol is prohibited after 20h00.
  • Prohibition on being on the public highway between midnight and 05h00, except for essential travel that cannot be postponed, such as travel for urgent medical reasons, business travel and the trip between home and work.

Read the original press release (in French) here.

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