COVID-19: the Consultative Committee proceeds to stricter lockdown

The Federal Government and the Governments of the federated entities decided today in the Consultative Committee to proceed to a stricter lockdown.

The stricter rules are necessary to stop the increasing pressure on our hospitals and to reverse the curve of infections as quickly and radically as possible.

  1. Social life
  • Each family member has the right to 1 close contact. Families are only allowed to invite one close contact into their home at a time. No other visits at home are allowed. An exception is made for people who live on their own: they are allowed to invite 1 other person in addition to their close contact, but not at the same time.
  • Outdoor gatherings: rule of four, keeping a safe distance
  • Funerals can have up to 15 attendees. No meal or reception afterwards.
  • Prayer houses can remain open, but no services are allowed. Gatherings can have up to 4 people, with face mask and at a safe distance.
  • The borders are not closed, as was agreed on a European level, travelling abroad is strongly discouraged.
  • Marriages can only take place in the presence of the spouses, witnesses and civil registrars.

2 Economic life

  • Working from home is mandatory, wherever possible. Where working from home is not possible, face masks and ventilation are mandatory. Company canteens have to close.
  • Holiday parks and campsites will be completely closed from Tuesday morning 3 November. Indoor and outdoor activities in holiday parks are stopped until that date. Swimming pools, restaurants and bars will be closed.  Meals must be consumed inside the holiday homes, as a family.
  • Hotels and B&Bs can remain open, but the restaurants and bars have to close. Meals must be served in the room.
  • Non-essential shops have to close, but they can organize pick-up and home delivery of goods ordered in advance. There must be no access to the shop when picking up goods.
  • To maintain a level playing field, supermarkets and markets (<200 persons) must limit their product range to what is on offer in the essential shops.
  • Garages and bicycle shops are only allowed to carry out repairs.
  • Non-medical contact professions have to stop operating (including hairdressers, make-up artists, wellness centres, massage parlours, beauty salons).
  • Companies and farms will remain open but have to comply with the rules on working from home, wearing a face mask and social distancing.
  • Animal parks have to close down.

3 Schools

  • Classes for all levels of education will be suspended on 12 and 13 November. Classes will resume on Monday 16 November.
  • For secondary education, pupils in the second and third grades will switch to a maximum of 50% contact education until 1 December. We will evaluate whether going back to 100% contact education is possible again before 1 December.
  • For higher education, remote teaching is provided:
    • For first-year students: until 1 December, when they will be able to follow contact education again.
    • For senior citizens, at least until the end of the calendar year.
  • Teachers can only meet online; the same goes for teacher training courses.
  • No in-person teambuilding activities are allowed

4 Start and end date

  • These measures will apply on the entire territory of Belgium, as of Monday 2 November 2020.
  • The measures will apply for one and a half months, until Sunday 13 December 2020. For non-essential shops, the Consultative Committee will perform an evaluation on 1 December.