Belgium will tighten its coronavirus measures for a month starting Friday, new Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced Tuesday.
Bars will have to close at 11 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. and only four people will be allowed per table. People can also only have close contact with three people (down from five) outside their household.
“The spreading of the virus is rapidly accelerating and we have to do everything we can to stop that acceleration as soon as possible,” De Croo said at a press conference. “This is only possible if we limit the number of contacts. That is why we are tightening some of the existing measures.”
Like many other countries, Belgium is struggling with a rising number of reported infections. There have been more than 2,300 infections per day during the past week, according to government data, and an average of 81 people hospitalized per day. The number of deaths is also rising, with an average of 10 per day.
The various Belgian governments on Tuesday nominated Pedro Facon, a senior health official, as the country’s first coronavirus commissioner to help coordinate the fight against the virus.