BRUSSELS – Options for extinguishing local COVID-19 flare-ups

After health authorities reported a daily rise in COVID-19 infections by 89% to an average of 184, Belgium’s Consultation Committee has discussed the tightening of measures and weighing scenarios for a potential second wave, including reduced social contacts, local lockdowns and increased contact tracing.

“A tightening nationally, such as wearing a mouth mask, but also locally, mayors should be able to take more measures against local fires and communities with a lot of infections,” federal health minister Maggie De Block (Open VLD) said on Tuesday (21 July) after the meeting.

A scenario called “Local outbreak COVID-19” has been made available for mayors, but needs to be approved by the National Security Council meeting on Wednesday (22 July).

Future option on the table could be measures including isolating certain places like lockdowns at local level, setting a curfew, closing shops and catering and reducing the “social bubbles” from 15 to 10 people.

An additional new measure is also being prepared for returning travellers.

“They will have to fill in a digital form 48 hours in advance. Whether they come back by car, plane, bus or train. They will then have to say where they have been, where they come from and also indicate a contact person,” De Block said.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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