New restrictions for Brussels as Belgium edges towards lockdown with Covid cases hitting a record high

  • City’s curfew has also been tightened to 10pm-6am with shops shutting at 8pm
  • The new changes will come in on Monday Brussel premier Rudi Vervoort said
  • Working from home will be obligatory and masks will have to be worn in public 

Sport and cultural facilities in Brussels must close and residents will face a longer curfew from Monday, the regional government said today, as Covid-19 infections in Belgium continued to surge to record highs.

Belgium is grappling with a new wave of the coronavirus and is one of the worst hit countries in Europe. 

The country’s rate of new cases is at the highest since the start of the pandemic, with a record 15,432 infections recorded on Tuesday, the latest official figures show.

The capital city Brussels, home to the European Union and NATO, is among the country’s hardest hit regions.

Sport and cultural facilities in Brussels must close and residents will face a longer curfew from Monday, the regional government said today, as Covid-19 infections in Belgium continued to surge to record highs

The city’s curfew has also been tightened to 10pm-6am, with shops shutting at 8pm. Residents must shop alone only, working from home will be obligatory and masks will have to be worn in public

Premier of the Brussels region Rudi Vervoort today ordered gyms and cultural facilities including theatres and cinemas to close and imposed a curfew of 10pm to 6am. The measures will last until November 19.

Masks will once again become mandatory in public spaces in Brussels, shops must shut at 8pm, and public gatherings of more than four people are banned.

Speaking at a news conference today, Mr Vervoort said: ‘The situation is very serious, it cannot remain this way.’

Belgium’s government had already tightened measures on Friday, on top of a nationwide closure of bars and restaurants and a curfew of midnight to 5am.

Rudi Vervoort, premier of the Brussels region, today ordered gyms and cultural facilities including theatres and cinemas to close and imposed a curfew of 10pm to 6am

The government in Belgium’s French-speaking region of Wallonia also ordered a tighter 10pm-6am curfew on Friday and made online learning mandatory for students until November 19.

‘The increase in numbers is staggering and we had to act with a partial lockdown,’ Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo said.

Belgium gives regions substantial autonomy and has nine health ministers, making it difficult to coordinate measures.

The nation of 11 million people had 1,119 new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 residents over the past week. 

 

With 10,658 total deaths, Belgium has one of the highest per capita fatality rates in the world.

Before this month, Belgium had not recorded more than 3,500 cases per day. 

The country is testing more people now than it did in the first wave of the virus, accounting for some, but not all, of the increase in cases.

Luxembourg, which borders Belgium, on Friday also announced a nighttime curfew and curbs on social contacts.

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