Belgium closes all cafés and restaurants, school lessons suspended from Monday Due To Coronavirus
New measures are being taken to stop the spreading of Covid-19, as the number of positive cases is on the rise. Check the most important measures here. On Thursday night Belgium PM Wilmès announced cafés and restaurants would be closed, schools too starting Monday. Schools will have to provide child care for the children of health workers. All recreational and sporting events are being cancelled.
- GP’s have received new guidelines. Everyone who is nursing respiratory problems, will be treated as a potential corona patient and has to call the doctor (don’t go out to the doctor’s cabinet, but make a phone call). If you combine these symptoms with coughing or sneezing and/or fever, the doctor may send you to hospital to be tested. If you just have a cold, this is of course not the case, but you will have to stay home for seven days anyway. A doctor’s note will be issued, as doctors have received new guidelines.
- All football games in the top flight will be played behind closed doors. Next Sunday will see the last day of play in the top flight before the play-offs, but there will be no spectators. The Cup Final, which would take place in 10 days, has been postponed. In amateur football and youth and women’s leagues, all games have been suspended until 31 March at least.
- All cycle races have been suspended until the end of the month, the Flemish Sports minister Ben Weyts announced. However, the Belgian Cycling Union still hopes that classic races such as Nokere Koerse (18/3), the E3 Harelbeke (27/3) and Gent-Wevelgem (29/3) can be maintained. There is no news yet about the Tour of Flanders, the annual highlight for many cycling fans, which is scheduled for Sunday 5 April.
- Big cultural institutions in Antwerp and Brussels, such as De Singel, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Antwerp) and the KVS (Brussels) are cancelling all events until the end of March. Those that purchased a ticket, will receive a message. The renowned Brussels concert hall AB will close its doors until the end of the month.
- The municipality of Knokke-Heist is taking drastic measures to stop corona. Knokke will go much further than other local authorities, scrapping all in- and outdoor activities and church services, and closing swimming pools, beach bars and libraries until 30 April. Shops and restaurants may follow soon. This means that Knokke-Heist will almost go into lockdown . “If they don’t act on a federal level, then I will take precautions myself”, Burgomaster Leopold Lippens said.
- The city of Antwerp is closing all its sports and youth infrastructure. Local city services will apply a skeleton roster. Leuven is shutting down all city buildings such as theatres and museums. All city activities are being scrapped until the end of March, says Mayor Mohamed Ridouani. Ghent also cancels all events until 31 March.
- Youth movements are cancelling all activities and events until the end of March. They announced this decision after a meeting with Youth Minister Benjamin Dalle.
- Brussels Airlines has decided to reduce the number of flights with 45 percent in April. Between 14 and 22 March, the airline cancels all flights to New York JFK. Flights to Italy are being cancelled until at least 3 April.