Belgium extends lockdown measures until May 3

Belgium is extending its lockdown until May 3, maintaining confinement measures except for some small changes “to make the situation more bearable,” Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said Thursday.

Garden centers and do-it-yourself shops may reopen their doors under strict social-distancing conditions. Residents of nursing homes may receive visits from one person at a time provided that visitor has had no symptoms of illness in the last two weeks.

“Its not inconceivable that people will see these last decisions as a loosening of the basic rules,” Wilmès said at a press conference today. “Thats not the case.”

“The basic rules remain unchanged and must absolutely be respected,” she noted. “We are not at the stage of a so-called return. The rules must be fully respected.”

The National Security Council will meet next week, on a date to be determined, to prepare the next phase.

“Our goal is to organize a progressive loosening by the beginning of May,” Wilmès said. “We are actively preparing for the transition to the normal situation. We call it a transition because we will have to work step by step to prevent the epidemic from re-emerging.”

More testing, contact tracing and usage of masks will all be a part of that transition, Wilmès said.

“The road is still long and full of pitfalls. Our perseverance and our willpower will be put to the test again and again,” Wilmès said. “But the prospect of a better future is within reach. Lets not be discouraged.”

Wilmès said Belgium has never known such a great chaRead More – Source

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