New restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus in Belgium could be announced on Friday, according to Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
Speaking to the national parliament’s health committee on Tuesday, Vandenbroucke said new rules might be the outcome of Friday’s meeting of the Consultation Committee of federal and regional leaders, La Libre reported.
The government will also present a barometer, with color codes for different places based on the number of hospitalizations and infections, as well as the rate of positive tests. These color codes could signify which sorts of measures need to be taken.
Possible new restrictions, according to De Tijd, could include an alignment of rules for restaurants that serve food, which — following the latest measures announced last week — are allowed to stay open later than cafés and bars. The latter must close at 11 p.m. and have only four people per table. This would come on the heels of an announcement last week that all bars in Brussels that don’t serve food must close for a month.
A bid to boost teleworking and cut down on the numbers of commuters crowding into public transportation is also on the table, the Flemish-language daily reported.
At the regional level, meanwhile, new rules on sports are coming into effect. Starting Wednesday, Flanders will ban indoor sports where no social distancing is possible, and on Thursday, the southern French-speaking region of Wallonia will prohibit indoor sports except for kids under 12.
The announcements come as Belgium continues to struggle with a rising rate of infections. The country is now averaging around 423 infections per 100,000 people, one of the highest rates in Europe, and its daily average number of cases over the past week is 4,449, according to Sciensano.