Correspondent in Brussels
Correspondent in Brussels
It is a relief for the tens of thousands of expatriates living in Belgium in general and, in particular, in Brussels, where the headquarters of the European institutions are located.
The Belgian authorities announced on Friday the reopening of the country's borders from Monday.
As of January 27, only essential travel to and from Belgium was allowed.
Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, however, indicated that these non-essential trips were "strongly discouraged".
“There will be very strict monitoring of testing and tracing.
Those who return (from a red zone, Editor's note) must be quarantined and must pass a negative test on the first and the seventh day ”, also warned the Belgian Prime Minister.
Police checks may be carried out at travelers' homes.
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Regarding the other measures, Belgium opts for a “cautious and realistic approach”.
The relaxations will therefore be carried out slowly and on condition that the health situation continues to improve.
The daily average of new coronavirus infections fell to around 3,500 after rising to more than 6,000 at the end of March.
But, here as in so many other countries, it was mostly on the reopening dates of bars and restaurants which were eagerly awaited.
These establishments will not reopen on May 1, as expected, but a week later, on May 8.
In addition, the reception of customers will be done only outside, on the terraces therefore and according to a strict protocol.
Provided that the situation in intensive care has improved in the long term and that 70% of people over 65 are vaccinated.
We will have to wait until the beginning of June for a complete reopening of the bars and restaurants, with customers inside.
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It is a cold shower for this sector whose fate has given rise, for weeks, to lively debates within the political class.
Many employers, in Liège in particular, have already indicated that they will defy the bans and reopen their establishment on May 1.
Certain elected officials of this city and this province also indicated that they would let it go and would not mobilize the police to close establishments and ticket their customers.
"If you open the terraces on May 1, know that I will not oppose it", would have indicated, according to the daily
, the governor of the province of Liège Hervé Jamar.
The federal government is concerned about these “tolerances”.
“I fully understand the messages and desires, but I would like to appeal to all those who have responsibilities, to continue to maintain order and uphold the rules.
It is also important for the support of the population to all health measures, even if I realize that they are harsh.
I have confidence in the mayors and the police, they will enforce the measures ”, reacted this Wednesday on RTL Info, the Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden.