Security council relaxes several corona measures

Prime Minister Wilmès (Francophone liberal) has announced the decisions taken by the security council with a view to relaxing corona measures starting next Sunday.  The security council groups the federal and devolved governments and is advised by the GEES, the Group of Experts on the Exit Strategy.

Shops reopen on 11 May, though strict regulations apply.  Only one customer per 10 square metres of store space will be allowed. Shop visits are limited to 30 minutes.  Wearing mouth masks in shops is hghly recommended.  Staff must be guaranteed a safe working environment. 

Shopping must be done alone.  Children under 18 and people who need assistance may be accompanied.  The prime minister urges people to shop locally. Tourist trips as part of a shopping outing remain banned.

“If it’s too busy in the shopping street or mall, turn round and come back another time” Ms Wilmès told a news conference.

Sports competitions are banned until 31 July.

The security council has decided on some relaxation of restrictions governing our social life, a key demand of many people.  Starting next Sunday every household may host visits by four different people, but these must always be the same four people.  These four individuals may visit one designated household, but not any other.  During visits social distancing must be observed and gatherings should preferably be held out of doors.  Visits are not allowed if anybody is ill.  “This system will make tracing easier if anybody comes down with coronavirus “Ms Wilmès said.

A new phase in the exit strategy will start on 18 May as schools reopen.

The prime minister told newsmen and women that the security council and experts are looking at relaxations regarding markets, museums, libraries and zoos. “We’ll examine whether hairdressers and beauty salons can reopen and whether more people can attend funerals and weddings” she added.

Day rips and visits to holiday homes will be considered at a later date i.e. not in this phase.

Meanwhile in Flanders health minister Beke told lawmakers that he is hopeful a decision on when visits to care homes can resume can be taken tomorrow.  Tests show 57.5% of carehomes are coronavirus-free.