Checks at our borders and strict restrictions on our contacts during the festive season

In addition to the decision to allow shops selling non-essential goods to reopen from Tuesday 1 December the Consultative Committee decided on the following changes to the measures designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The changes were announced at a press conference held at 7pm on Friday evening. 

The Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo ( Flemish liberal) said that prudence is the watch word and that it would be irresponsible to relax the measures to much, too soon. 

The Prime Minister added that coming months and not just the period between now and Christmas and the New Year will be difficult. We must continue to get the figures down and keep them down. Only then can the measures be relaxed. According to statistical models it won’t be until  mid-January before the figures will have fallen enough for this to be considered. Our primary aim must be to avert a third wave. 

People that live alone will be allowed two people, their “cuddle contact”  with whom they have normal relations and their other contact with whom the maintain social distancing, in their homes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However this will not be the case on New Year’s Eve.  Those that live together with others will be allowed a maximum of one visitor as is normally the case under the measures that are currently in force. All the other restrictions on social contacts remain unchanged. 

The curfew will remain in force and there will be a national ban on fireworks on New Year's Eve. 

As regards foreign travel, the Prime Minister stressed that non-essential travel is strongly disadvised. Border checks will be carried out to make sure that those returning from abroad have filled in their passenger registration form. 

Museums and swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen. 

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