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Sunday, January 29 2023

Belgium to lift more Covid measures

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Brussels: Starting from Monday March 7, Belgium will lift more Covid-19 measures such as wearing masks in public places after the federal government agreed on Friday March 4 to move the country to code yellow, which means that the pandemic situation is under control, according to an official report published by the National Crisis Centre.

The decision to lift the measures in the hospitality sector and most public places marks the end of the federal phase of the “national emergency plan to fight Covid-19”, launched two years ago in Belgium, reports Xinhua news agency.

Wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory in schools, universities and public places, and the ‘Covid safe ticket’ (CST) will no longer be required to enter bars and restaurants, or to attend public events.

However, rules for wearing masks on public transport, as well as in hospitals and healthcare centres, “will continue to be applied for a certain time”, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Friday.

The government has also recommended people use masks in closed public spaces, or in areas where social distancing is limited.

Travellers will no longer need to complete a Passenger Locator Form when they arrive in Belgium, unless they are coming from a third country outside the European Union (EU).

Quarantine rules will apply for people who do not have one of the three certificates (vaccination, negative PCR test, or a certificate of recovery after illness), and for people travelling from countries with a high risk of Covid.

All the Covid indicators are continuously falling in Belgium; from February 22 to 28, a daily average of 6,011 new infections was reported by Sciensano Public Health Institute.

From February 28 to March 3, 131.7 new admissions were recorded daily, around a 27 per cent drop from the previous recorded period.

Currently, 2,108 coronavirus patients are hospitalised, including 227 in intensive care.

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Belgium has recorded 3,578,738 Covid cases and 30,244 deaths.

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