Friday

1st Jul 2022

Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

  • The Belgian government announced a "broad summer plan" with four steps for easing restrictions. By 1 September most measures should be lifted (Photo: EUobserver)

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo announced on Wednesday (11 May) a plan to relax over the summer the measures taken to stop coronavirus.

"The [Consultation] Committee has been able to establish a broad summer plan," said De Croo on a press conference. "The plan is based on two pillars: the first is vaccination, which is going extremely well," he said. "And the second is, of course, the situation in intensive care."

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

"Four-out-of-10 adult Belgians have already received their first vaccine dose. And the campaign will also accelerate," De Croo said, adding that "in the coming weeks, there will be weeks were almost a million people will be vaccinated."

From 9 June

The first phase of the plan starts on 9 June, the moment at which all vulnerable people are expected to have been vaccinated.

On that day the restaurants will be able to serve food inside from 8AM until 10PM. Terraces will be open until 11.30PM instead of the current 10PM.

It will be allowed to invite four people at home. Also cinemas, fitness centres and theatres will be able to open their doors.

Also from the 9 June, it will be possible to work in the office for one day a week.

Indoor events can be organised for a maximum of 200 people, seated at appropriate distances with face masks. Outdoor events can host 400 people with face masks.

Religious services can be held with 100 people inside, or 200 people outside.

From 1 July

If the numbers of vaccinations and hospitalisations progresses in a positive way, new relaxations will be possible from the 1 July.

Working at home will not longer be mandatory, but only recommended.

Events indoors can host up to 2,000 people, outdoors up to 2,500 people.

From 30 July these numbers can go up to 3,000 and 5,000 respectively, while from 13 August these numbers will possibly be higher, if people can proof they are vaccinated or tested negatively.

According to De Croo, from September 1 the corona restrictions should mostly disappear.

What about travelling?

It appeared no decision has been taken yet about the relaxation of travel restrictions from 1 July onwards.

Apparently, the health ministry still needs to make a list of 'green countries' and needs to consult with the European Commission.

One major question is if the EU travel certification system will be ready and implemented before the summer holidays of many families start.

De Croo called on the population living in Belgium to get vaccinated.

"With 90 percent of the people older than 65 vaccinated, we are at the top of Europe. However vaccinating is in the first place a matter of solidarity," he said.

Belgium goes into four-week Easter lockdown

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

Opinion

How industry watered-down new EU supply chain rules

The Commission fell hook, line, and sinker for the arguments of big business on the corporate due diligence directive — conflating rules and regulations with so-called 'red tape' and rebranding regulations as 'burdens' on business which should be scrapped.

Podcast

Against white feminism: European edition

Author Rafia Zakaria turned the feminist world upside down with her bestselling book Against White Feminism. She talks with the Brussels-based journalist Shada Islam about the prevalence of white feminist thinking in Europe — particularly France.

News in Brief

  1. Poland still failing to meet EU judicial criteria
  2. Report: Polish president fishing for UN job
  3. Auditors raise alarm on EU Commission use of consultants
  4. Kaliningrad talks needed with Russia, says Polish PM
  5. Report: EU to curb state-backed foreign takeovers
  6. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  7. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit
  8. Russia urges Nato not to build bases in Sweden, Finland

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  3. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  5. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers

Latest News

  1. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief
  2. EU pollution and cancer — it doesn't have to be this way
  3. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  4. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  5. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  6. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike
  7. EU's post-Covid billions flowing into black hole
  8. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us