Mouth masks mandatory in shops from Saturday

From Saturday 11 July the wearing of mouth masks will become compulsory throughout Belgium in all shops, shopping centres and other indoor places where a lot of people congregate such as cinemas. The decision to make the wearing of mouth masks mandatory in shops, libraries, museums, concert halls, theatres, auditoria, places of worship and conference centres was taken at a meeting of representatives of Belgium’s, federal, regional and language community governments on Thursday evening.  

The decision came after the High Council for Health recommended the compulsory wearing of mouth masks in shops in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. The High Council for Health said that this was necessary “to improve protection for customers and shop staff”.

After consultative talks with the team of experts that advises our country’s governments on Belgium’s corona lockdown exit strategy, it was decided that that the High Council for Heath’s recommendation should be followed. From tomorrow (Saturday 11 July) the wearing of mouth masks will become compulsory in shops, shopping centres, cinemas, theatres, concert venues, auditoria, places of worship, museums and libraries.

The Federal Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal) told journalists that "In time this list could be modified depending on the epidemiological situation in our country. The wearing of a mask remains strongly advised in other situations”.

People that fail to respect the new rules face criminal proceedings.

As is already the case on public transport masks are not mandatory for children under the age of 12. Those with a valid medical reason preventing them from wearing a mask are also exempt. The National Security Council will validate the decision sometime today.

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