This evening (30 October) Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, announced a further tightening of lockdown measures to reduce the pressure on hospitals and to quickly and drastically flatten the COVID-19 curve in the country. The new measures will come into force on Monday, 2 November for a period of one and a half months until Sunday 13 December.
The new measures are:
1. Social life
Each member of a family has the right to have close contact. Families can only invite one close contact to their home at a time. You cannot receive other visitors at home. An exception is given to people who live alone: next to their close contact, they can also invite an additional person, but not at the same time.
Meeting outdoors: four-person rule, respecting safety distances.
Funeral with a maximum of 15 people present, ban on organizing a meal or a reception after the ceremony.
Places of prayer remain open but no religious services. Gatherings of a maximum of four people, subject to wearing a mask and respecting the distances.
The borders are not closed in accordance with the European agreements. However, travel abroad is strongly discouraged.
Weddings take place only in the presence of spouses, witnesses and registrars.
2. Economic life
Teleworking is compulsory in areas which allow it. When teleworking is not possible, wearing a mask and ventilating the premises are mandatory. Corporate restaurants are closed.
Holiday centres and campsites are closed in their entirety from the morning of Tuesday, 3 November morning. Until then, indoor and group activities at the resorts are suspended. Meals may be consumed in vacation homes, per family.
The hotels and B & B's remain open, but their restaurants are closed. Meals can be eaten in the room.
Non-essential stores are closing but may organize pickups and home deliveries of goods ordered in advance. Access to the store is prohibited when picking up purchases.
To ensure fair competition rules, supermarkets and markets (<200 people) must limit their offer to products available in essential stores.
Garages and bicycle shops only provide repairs.
Non-medical professions (hairdressers, make-up artists, wellness centres, massage, beauty salons, etc.) are closing.
Farm businesses and businesses remain open, provided they meet telecommuting, mask-wearing and social distancing obligations.
Animal parks will close.
For all levels of education, classes will be suspended on 12 and 13 November. Classes will resume on Monday 16 November.
For secondary education, second and third degree students will attend face-to-face education at a maximum of 50% of the time until 1 December. Before 1 December, the government will assess whether 100% face-to-face teaching is possible again.
For higher education, distance education will be provided:
o first-year students: until 1 December, when they will be able to follow face-to-face teaching again.
o older students, at least until the end of the calendar year.
Teachers will meet online; the same rule applies to pedagogical days.
Organizing physical team-building events is prohibited.
4. Start and end dates
The measures will come into force throughout the country from Monday, 2 November, 2020.
The measures apply for a period of one and a half months, until Sunday 13 December, 2020 inclusive. For non-essential businesses, the Consultation Committee will conduct an assessment on 1 December.
Find the original release information (in French) here.