Fresh relaxations mooted from Friday week

Belgian health minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) expects Belgium to switch to Code Orange on the corona barometer next week Friday.  Belgium currently applies Code Red measures, so Code Orange will mean relaxations.  It’s especially good news for hospitality, where masking will no longer be mandatory, nightclubs can reopen and there will be no general closing time for pubs and restaurants.

“The number of Covid patients ending up in critical care clearly indicates Code Orange.  Look at the number of daily hospitalisations and this is still clearly strong Code Red territory.  We expect a strong improvement because new infections are falling” says Vandenbroucke.

“When I look at this, then I think we can put to the consultative committee that meets on Friday plans for a switch to Code Orange the following week i.e. 18 February.  That’s the proposal.”

Code Orange opens the way for larger capacities at events and in the cultural sector.  Nightlife too will be able to reopen.  Mr Vandenbroucke stresses relaxations are conditional e.g. on measures to secure good air quality at venues.

Code Orange applies when there are between 65 and 149 daily Covid hospitalisations and between 300 and 500 Covid patients in critical care.

Public events can fill up to 90% capacity.  “Dynamic” events too are possible i.e. dancing and gigs with a standing crowd.

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