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Belgium reduces capacity limits as Covid-19 cases rise

Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmès has announced that more stringent restrictions will be implemented in the country, including tighter limits on event capacities, following a “worrying” increase of coronavirus cases.

The new regulations are the result of a meeting of the Belgian national security council last week, in which ministers discussed ways of tackling the resurgence of the virus. All new measures come into place tomorrow (29 July) and will remain in place for at least four weeks, until the end of August.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Wilmès announced that the number of people permitted to attend indoor and outdoor events will be halved, reducing capacity limits to 100 and 200 respectively.

Belgian capacity limits had been set to double in August, prior to the increase in cases, which would have seen 400-capacity indoor shows and open-air events of up to 800 people.

“Our aim is clear: avoid another full lockdown”

It will now also be compulsory for all event attendees to wear face masks, with municipal authorities responsible for undertaking “a meticulous re-assessment” of events taking place in their territories and for ensuring safety regulations and protocols are “strictly adhere to”.

“The situation is rapidly changing in our country,” says Wilmès. “Apart from the infections, the number of hospital admissions and deaths remains under control for the time being, but we know that those figures will come with some delay.

“Our aim is clear: avoid another full lockdown.”

The Belgian prime minister adds that the virus is also “flaring up again” in other European countries.

The Catalonia region of Spain, in particular, has seen a resurgence of the virus in recent weeks, with event organisers narrowly avoiding the reimposition of a blanket event ban last week.

Photo: Thomasdaems89/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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