The National Security Council met last Wednesday to discuss a new phase of deconfinement in Belgium, although the coronavirus is still circulating in the country. The CNS has decided to activate phase 4 of the deconfinement, as of this Monday, July 1.
Here is everything that changes:
Close contact is allowed with 15 people instead of 10 people before, in addition to the home, on a weekly basis. As a reminder, this right is individual. “We hope we can do more. In the closest bubbles, the risk of contamination is greater because the contacts are closer compared to the gatherings which take place in a secure setting. Fifteen, it helps to broaden the person and move forward gradually because the virus is still there, “said Sophie Wilmès.
All open… or almost
Swimming pools, wellness centers and saunas, amusement parks and indoor playgrounds, theaters, cinemas, casinos, gambling halls, congress halls, party halls and reception halls (limited to 50 people), can reopen since July 1st. In addition, the general rules which are already in force for other activities 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 mouth mask which remains highly recommended. Jacuzzis and hammams can only reopen for private treatments.
Unfortunately, nightclubs remain closed until August 31 and mass gatherings (such as festivals) remain prohibited.
Yes to the public
It is, since today, well possible to organize activities in the presence of an audience, under certain conditions which are included in protocols. For regular events organized in permanent structures like theaters, cinemas, galleries, congress halls, protocols are therefore established with the competent ministers and the experts of the GEES. For occasional events in public space, an online tool is available (matrix) and serves as a reference for local authorities in granting authorizations for these events. Precise rules must also be applied.
Cultural events can therefore resume in the presence of an audience, limited to 200 people indoors, and 400 outdoors in July, provided that the safety rules are observed. This limit of 400 people also applies to static events and on condition of respecting the security measures. Any request for an event must also be authorized by the local authorities. In August, if the sanitary conditions allow it, one could pass to an audience of 400 people inside and 800 outside.
More freedom in the store
Since this Wednesday, we can be accompanied to go to the store with people from our contact bubble and there is no longer a time limit. Wearing a mask is still not mandatory, even if the question continues to divide. But the safety distances are still valid. For markets, the protocols remain in force, but there are no longer any restrictions on the number of authorized merchants, with the lifting of the ban on exceeding 50 stalls.
Horeca, nothing changes
Sophie Wilmès confirmed that the closing time of bars and restaurants (fixed at 1 am) does not change for the moment. “After discussion, we came to the conclusion that the problem could be discussed later,” she said.
Regarding wedding receptions, we go to 50 people authorized with the rules imposed in the catering industry (social distancing, maximum of people per table, etc.)
Still no rally, except …
Regarding festive gatherings and unauthorized gatherings
: “Respect for order must be organized by the mayors, it is not easy. The Prime Minister insisted on the need to “have clear language”.
“It is forbidden, and not only is it prohibited but it is dangerous,” she said. For the rest, it is up to the mayors to enforce public order in the territory of their municipality. The police have the authority to act.
The fair and fairgrounds can open their aisles again to visitors from July 1st.
And sports ?
In regards to sporting events
: for this month of July: 200 people authorized inside, 400 outside. In August, there will be 400 people inside and 800 outside. For football matches, this will be subject to an in-depth analysis and in accordance with strict protocols.
As a reminder, in order to fight the global pandemic of the Covid-19 coronavirus, which left nearly 10,000 dead in our country, Belgium entered strict confinement on March 18. Since May 4, deconfinement has started.