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These measures come into force from today

While some of the measures that were agreed on at Friday’s meeting of the Consultative Committee came into force as soon as the Royal Decree was published on Saturday, others come into force from today (Monday 29 November). For the coming weeks at least indoor sport matches will have to take place without spectators and tighter restrictions have also been placed on other public events. The coronavirus prevention measures in school and on leisure activities for children have also been tightened. 

The measures form part of the so-called “Winter Package” of measures designed to flatten the rising coronavirus curves.  

From today indoor public events will only be allowed to take place if those attending them are able to be seated and are wearing face coverings. Spectators are no longer allowed at indoor sport matches (basketball, volleyball, etc). The only exceptions to this are the parents or guardians of minors that are competing.

In schools several new measures have been introduced and existing measures tightened. All school trips that involve overnight stays, such as sea or forest classes, are banned. Form groups must now be kept separate in indoor areas such as the school dining room or the school library. Also included in this are schools’ before- and after-school childcare facilities. However, on the school playground different classes will still be allowed to mix. In the classroom, pupils must be assigned a seat at a desk that is only to be used by them. The presence of people from outside the school is now severely limited.

The rules on quarantine have also been tightened. From now on a class will be placed in quarantine if more than three infections have been confirmed among its members during a 7-day period. Previously this was 4 cases. Schools now also have the freedom to either partially or completely switch to distance learning methods if they so which. They can also opt to close all together if the severity of the situation they face makes this necessary.

Outside school too stricter measure will have to be observed by children and young people when they participate in leisure activities. The ministers for youth in the three language community governments call on those organising activities to let them go ahead outside as much as possible.

Groups numbering no more than 50 children are allowed to take part in indoor activities. Different groups may also not mix, and face coverings must be worn from the age of 10, unless the nature of the activity renders this impossible.

Emphasis is also placed on ventilation and social distancing. Activities that involve overnight stays are banned.

The measures will remain in force until the next meeting of the Consultative Committee on 15 December. Then it will be decided whether they should be tightened, extended or relaxed. 

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