Health

Belgium loosening lockdown but crisis not over yet, PM warns

Belgians will soon be able to grab a beer with up to 10 friends as the country relaxes its lockdown, but that doesnt mean things are back to normal, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès cautioned Thursday.

“Were in a health situation that allows us to deconfine further, but it doesnt mean were back to where we were before COVID-19,” Wilmès told Belgian news channel LN24. “The virus is still here, and can kill more people if we dont respect some conditions.”

The Belgian government on Wednesday announced the country will enter a new phase toward deconfinement, effective from June 8. Thats thanks to the “encouraging” indicators on the spread of the coronavirus, which Wilmès said signaled better progress than the government or experts had expected.

“Freedoms are now the rule, and prohibitions will be the exception,” she said.

That includes a shift from the much-debated rule allowing every household to come into contact with a circle of just four people: Now everyone will be able to socialize with up to 10 people each week and gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open under specific conditions and trips within Belgium will be possible again. Sports activities that do not require close contact with others may also resume, but not those such as football or judo.

The government plans to drop border restrictions on June 15.

Wilmès emphasized her first priority is to deal with the health crisis, while bolstering support mRead More – Source