State of affairs regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - Measures taken by the Regional Security Council13.03.2020
The National Security Council (NSC) has announced the transition to the federal phase. This means that decisions are being taken by a coordination committee within the National Crisis Centre, in which Belgium’s federated entities are involved. The NSC has also announced additional measures deemed necessary to protect the general population against the spread of coronavirus in Belgium. From a public health point of view, the country remains in phase 2. This implies an effort to contain the spread and multiplication of the virus.
On the initiative of the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region and the High Official, an extraordinary Regional Security Council* was convened to take stock and implement the new measures at the level of the Brussels-Capital Region. These measures will take effect from midnight on the night from Friday to Saturday and apply up to and including 3 April. The measures relate to:
- The primary concern is the health of citizens.
- The measures are intended to ensure that contacts between citizens are limited so as to avoid infection by the virus.
- Elderly people living alone are requested to stay at home and to do their shopping outside peak hours.
- Public transport continues to operate, but its use is reserved solely for travel that is strictly necessary.
- Employers are requested to encourage teleworking and adjust their employees’ timetables to avoid excessive transport concentrations.
The education of your children
- As far as schools are concerned, lessons are suspended. Childcare will be organised, especially for the children of medical and health staff and authority departments (public safety). Children for whom there is no care solution other than one involving elderly people will also be able to go to their schools to be looked after.
- The child day-care centres remain open.
- It is recommended that universities and colleges develop modules for remote learning. These schools are therefore not being closed, but they are however being encouraged to find alternatives to traditional courses held in lecture theatres or indoor areas.
Commercial and recreational activities
- Recreational activities are cancelled, regardless of their size and whether they are public or private.
- Nightclubs, cafés and restaurants will remain closed.
- Hotels will remain open, except for their restaurant, if they have one.
- Home delivery and drive-in services for food are allowed.
- Shops other than food stores and pharmacies will stay open Monday to Friday, but not during the weekend.
- Food stores and pharmacies will simply remain open as usual, also during the weekend. Nevertheless, it is recommended that they strengthen their hygiene measures on the basis of the recommendations already formulated.
Your social life
- All meetings and events are cancelled.
- Nightclubs, cafés, bars and restaurants are closed.
The full Regional Security Council has shown solidarity and responsibility and has agreed unanimously on the joint implementation of measures to contain the epidemic and protect the most vulnerable citizens. The members of the Regional Security Council also call on all citizens to show solidarity and good citizenship.
In addition to the public health chain and the competent authorities, every citizen is also a central player in controlling the epidemic. Individual responsibility is the best protection against the virus. In this context, social distancing and hygiene measures must be applied more intensively. How the Region will weather this crisis will also depend on everyone’s individual behaviour.
The Regional Security Council is ready to monitor the situation at all times.
*This council, chaired by the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, consists of the High Official, the Public Prosecutor of Brussels, the Presidents of the police committees, the administrative director-coordinator, the administrative coordinating director, the judicial director and the chiefs of police of the six local police zones located on the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region. The composition of this council is being expanded to include the 19 mayors of the Brussels-Capital Region.
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