BRUSSELS – Phase 4 of deconfinement

Belgium’s National Security Council has agreed the country can go ahead with the next phase of its lockdown measure exit plan from 1 July.

Social contacts will be extended to allow closer contact with 15 different people every week, instead of the previous 10.

From 1 July, cultural activities can take place with an audience of up to 200 people indoors, subject to compliance with security measures. For outdoor events, 400 people will be allowed.

For those wanting to organize an event for more than 200 people from 1 July, a so-called event matrix provides eighteen criteria (for example whether it is a dynamic event or in one place, and whether or not food is provided). The checklist can then be used by the mayors to make an assessment and decide whether an event is allowed take place.

Closing time for the catering industry remains 1 am.

Swimming pools, wellness centres, amusement parks, casinos and gaming halls can also reopen, and there is no longer a limit on the number of stalls allowed on markets, but social distance has to be kept at all times.

Wearing a face mask in public remains highly recommended. Although several of the country’s virologists support an obligation to wear a mask in shops, the National Security Council did not follow the experts’ suggestion.

(Alexandra Brzozowski |

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