19th Apr 2021

Belgium goes into four-week Easter lockdown

  • Belgium goes back to lockdown after infection and mortality numbers returned to the highest in four months. The Easter lockdown will last for four weeks (Photo: Lisbeth Kirk)

Belgium's prime minister Alexander De Croo announced on Wednesday (24 March) that the country will go into four weeks of Easter lockdown, starting from Saturday (27 March).

"The [corona] consultation committee decided to choose for the short pain. We want to squash the third wave", he said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo announced a new lockdown for four weeks - starting from Saturday (27 March) (Photo:

De Croo added new measures were necessary as "the British variant is now the dominant variant in Belgium, and the virus circulation is the highest in four months."

Primary and secondary schools, as well as universities, will close until 19 April.

According to the prime minister "the highest number of infections can be found at the age group from 10-19 years old. They infect their parents, and often their grandparents."

Following the example of the Netherlands, non-essential shops will remain open, but only by appointment.

In large shops, like for example Ikea, only 50 people will be allowed inside.

Hairdressers, beauty salons and massage salons will have to close their doors again.

Also the decision, earlier this month, to allow people to meet with 10 others outdoors is now reduced back to four people.

Non-essential travel outside the country remains forbidden, and there will be more border controls during the Easter holiday weeks. Non-essential travel within the country remains allowed.

The 10PM to 5AM curfew in Brussels remains, as is the 12PM until 5AM one in the rest of the country. Also teleworking remains mandatory.

De Croo also announced that all people over 65 should be vaccinated by the end of March, saying hospitalisation and mortality numbers showed that "vaccinating works."

The PM concluded by saying that "it was a hard decision" and that he understands that "many people will be disappointed.


Sweden's non-lockdown didn't work - why not?

The Swedish king would have been better advised to use his annual Christmas interview to call for unity of purpose and shed light on the political roots of the country's response.

EU Commission 'surprised' by Belgian travel ban extension

The European Commission has expressed surprise over the Belgian government's decision to extend the ban on non-essential travel, stressing that "all options" are on the table to ensure free movement across the bloc.

Belgium re-opens, with restrictions, on 8 June

From 8 June Belgium reopens bars, restaurants, fitness clubs and other activities, as long as people keep 1.5 meter of social distancing. Traveling will also be possible to other European countries if these agree.

Hundreds of thousands log on for 'spare' Belgian vaccinations

On Tuesday Belgium launched a new website, QVAX, where people who are not yet vaccinated or have no appointment to be vaccinated, could register in case 'spare' appointments come up. Brussels will start it's own system mid-April.

News in Brief

  1. EU postpones decision on labelling gas 'sustainable'
  2. MEPs call for mass surveillance ban in EU public spaces
  3. Greek and Turkish ministers trade jibes in Ankara
  4. Biden repeats opposition to Russia-Germany pipeline
  5. Navalny in danger, letter warns EU foreign ministers
  6. Lithuania keen to use Denmark's AstraZeneca vaccines
  7. Gas plants largest source of power-sector emissions
  8. Study: Higher risk of blood clots from Covid than vaccines


Italy's mafias - boosted by Covid, now eyeing EU's billions

Italy's various mafias are allegedly exploiting the chaos caused by the Covid-19 emergency to infiltrate even deeper into sectors where they are already present, such as healthcare, mortuary services, and waste disposal (both medical and non-medical).

EU missed March vaccination target for priority groups

The EU failed to reach its target of having at least 80 percent of the elderly and healthcare workers vaccinated by the end of March. According to estimates, 55 percent will be vaccinated by the end of June.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. US rejects Slovenia-linked plan to break up Bosnia
  2. Ukraine urges Borrell to visit Russia front line
  3. Could US sanctions hit Russia vaccine sales to EU?
  4. Polish court pushes out critical ombudsman
  5. Political crises in Romania and Bulgaria amid third wave
  6. Von der Leyen's summer plans undisclosed, after Ukraine snub
  7. Over a million EU citizens back farm-animal cage ban
  8. Three options for West on Putin's Ukraine build-up

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us