“We are going back into a strict lockdown, which has only one purpose: to ensure that our healthcare system does not collapse,” De Croo said, adding that these are the “last-chance” measures.
Under the new measures, all non-essential shops will close, along with hair salons. People will not be able to visit family or friends at home, with only one close contact allowed per week. People who live alone are allowed to have two close contacts.
All non-essential movement is not allowed, with the exception of going to work in cases where teleworking is not possible, with the mask and social distance being mandatory. Urgent medical appointments and groceries are also allowed. At the same time, a night curfew will remain in place, from 10pm to 6am concerning Brussels capital region and Wallonia, and from midnight to 5pm in Flanders.
Gatherings in outdoor spaces will remain restricted to maximum 4 people.
While borders will remain open, travelling is strongly discouraged.
The measures will be assessed on December 1.
Belgium’s move came two days after Germany implemented a partial lockdown and France a nationwide one, to curb an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases across their territories.
Belgium is facing one of the worst spikes in COVID-19 cases in Europe, with the country reporting a record of almost 24,000 cases on Friday. It is also recording the second highest death toll in Europe, with more than 8 deaths per 100,000 habitants.