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Belgium’s De Croo: We’re working toward ‘a carefree summer’

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Belgian authorities have agreed on how a relaxation of the coronavirus rules will work in practice, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Friday, adding that he wanted to “lay the foundation for a carefree summer.”

Speaking at a press conference, De Croo said the “progress of the vaccination campaign” meant that outdoor drinking and dining at bars and restaurants will be allowed from May 8, a measure that was announced earlier in the month but without details. Terraces will remain open until 10 p.m., the prime minister said after the latest meeting of national and regional ministers responsible for public health.

De Croo said that more than 70 percent of those aged over 65 have received a first vaccine dose. By the end of May, about half the adult population should have received at least one dose.

Outdoor events will be allowed for up to 50 people from early May. From June, up to 200 people will be allowed to attend events, both indoors and outdoors, as long as the coronavirus situation in the country remains under control.

Further consultations will take place on May 11. “We remain very cautious,” said De Croo.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email [email protected] for a complimentary trial.

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