Belgium eyes extension of lockdown measures

Belgiums National Security Council may announce on Wednesday some small steps toward loosening the countrys lockdown while keeping confinement measures broadly in place for at least two more weeks, a Belgian government official told POLITICO Tuesday.

For now, the measures apply to April 19, with a possible extension until May 3. But economy ministers of the regional governments have been pressing the federal government to re-open garden centers to help the struggling sector and to encourage people to stay at home while working in their own garden.

The council, which includes ministers of Belgiums different governments and experts, is advising Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès on how to approach the countrys exit strategy.

The festival sector is also waiting for some guidance on whether it should cancel summer festivals — another decision that will probably be taken on Wednesday, according to national media.

In the country of 11 million, the virus has so far caused 4,157 deaths. As the number of hospitalized patients remains high, both experts and politicians have warned in the last few days that an extension will be necessary.

The Dutch-speaking north wants to return to business as usual soon while the French-speaking south is more cautious.

Politicians will also discuss what to do with schools after the Easter break ends on April 19. While some want to cancel exams if schools dont open again shortly, othersRead More – Source

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