Exit strategy Phase 1 starts Monday

It’s now official the first phase of Belgium’s exit plan from the corona lockdown starts on Monday. 

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal) has confirmed the go-ahead: “Experts say that the evolution of the epidemic allows this.  The experts insist protective measures including testing and contact tracing are operational as soon as possible”.

During the first phase businesses in non-essential sectors may return to work if certain conditions are met.  Direct contact with clients isn’t allowed.  Firms work business to business.  Mouth masks need to be worn if workers can’t keep 1.5m apart on the workshop floor.  Working from home remains the norm.

Mouth coverings become compulsory on all public transport as 1.5m social distancing will probably not be feasible on trains, trams, buses and the metro. Mouth masks are obligatory for everybody aged 12 or over from the instant you enter a station or arrive at a stop.  Avoid the rush hour and use private transport if possible. Thick scarves and bandanas are allowed too!

Shops selling fabrics and material are allowed to open to allow people to purchase what they need to produce their own mouth masks. They will have to comply with social distancing rules.

People should stay at home as much as possible.  Only essential travel is permitted.  Gatherings are banned.

In addition to walking, running and cycling other out-of-doors sports are permitted with members of the same household plus two others.  Social distancing of 1.5m must be observed.  Access to closed infrastructure like showers and cafeterias is not allowed.