Confirmed: first phase of Belgium’s exit plan starts on Monday

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The current evolution of the coronavirus crisis allows that Belgium’s lockdown measures will be relaxed slightly from 4 May, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès confirmed on Wednesday.

This means that Phase 1A of the exit plan can start as planned. The Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy (GEES) has officially given the green light to move to the next phase on 4 May, Wilmès said in a statement on her website.

At the moment, the core cabinet is meeting with the Minister-Presidents of the federated states and the GEES. The Ministerial Decree on this phase will be published in the Belgian Official Journal on Thursday.

In practice, this means that the companies will be allowed to open their doors on 4 May. However, telework remains the norm wherever possible.

 

Cycling or going for a walk as a group of three will also be allowed, provided the social distance is respected at all times.

Some sports played in pairs and in the open air, such as kayaking and tennis, will be allowed again, also without physical contact. Locker rooms and cafeterias will remain closed.

Public transport will also resume its usual activities, but the use of face masks is mandatory. During all phases of the lockdown, people are recommended to use their own means of transport in order to make room on public transport for the people who need it most.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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