Belgium in Brief: Over 1,000 Confirmed Cases

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After a weekend spent inside by the majority of the country, this week in Belgium has started with some clarity on how the country will function in this not-a-lockdown situation. With the closure of playparks, restaurants moving to delivery, and Belgium breaking 1,000 confirmed cases, here’s the latest info from around the country to get you up to speed.

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1. Coronavirus: Belgium breaks 1000 confirmed cases

172 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health on Monday. This brings the total number of cases to above 1,000. Read more.

2. Coronavirus: All outdoor playgrounds closed

After the initial confusion about the closing of outdoor playgrounds as a measure to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) last week, the Crisis Centre told all cities and municipalities to close them.

All playgrounds, both indoors and outdoors, in Belgium have to be closed. The decision was part of the measures taken by the National Security Council on Thursday, but due to a miscommunication, outdoor playgrounds remained open over the weekend in many places.  Read more.

3. Cross-border shopping and dining described as ‘antisocial behaviour’

People who cross the border into the Netherlands and Luxembourg to go shopping, drinking and dining are displaying “antisocial behaviour,” according to Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon.

This afternoon the town of Sluis, just across the border in the Dutch province of Zeeland, has closed its own bars and restaurants as a reaction to the hundreds of Belgians who have crossed the border since the shutdown was imposed on Friday at midnight. Read more.

4. Brussels restaurants switch to delivery: which ones?

Across the capital, many restaurants have had to adapt their traditional business method in response to exceptional measures taken to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, which imposed the closure of bars and restaurants until 3 April.

A roundup list published by Visit.Brussels is attempting to draw attention to restaurants offering delivery and takeaway after Coronavirus measures have seen them close their doors to customers. Read more.

5. Coronavirus: citizens urged to donate face masks to hospitals

Medical workers on the front lines of Belgium’s response to the coronavirus pandemic are sounding the alarm over the shortage of protective gear and mouth masks in particular.

“For citizens walking in the street, these masks serve no purpose, but for nurses and doctors saving the lives of Covid-19 patients, these masks are essential,” virologist Marc Van Ranst said. Read more.

6. ‘Worse than after the terrorist attacks,’ says Brussels hotel sector

Brussels’ hotel sector fears “enormous consequences” as a result of the measures taken in Belgium to fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

“This crisis is two to three times worse than after the attacks,” Brussels Hotel Association (BHA) President Yves Fonck said on Friday. We are calling for exceptional measures to support the sector.  Read more.

7. PM to Belgian youth: ‘We cannot defeat the coronavirus without you’

The government will not succeed in halting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country without the help of citizens and youth, in particular, the caretaker prime minister said.

“I insist on the fact that we will not be able to win the fight against the coronavirus unless we all step up to our individual and collective responsibilities,” the head of the interim government, Sophie Wilmès, said. Read more.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times, pub-6336011652228911, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0