Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced Friday that Belgium is enforcing a strict ban starting Sunday amid an increase in coronavirus infection, hospitalization and death toll.
Why is it important: De Croo said the government had no choice but to lock the door “to make sure that our healthcare system doesn’t crash.” Scientists and health officials say the death toll has doubled every six days, according to the Guardian.
Detail: De Croo added that the measures are Belgium’s “last chance” and said they will be maintained until at least December 13, but will be assessed on December 1, according to the Brussels Times.
- Non-essential and non-medical businesses ̵1; such as hair salons, bars, and restaurants – will be closed.
- Indoor gatherings are no longer allowed, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to four people.
- Schools will remain closed until mid-November.
Big picture: Belgium has seen more than 392,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths since the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
- This is the second time Belgium has stopped the pandemic, after it closed in March for the first time, according to Politico.
What are they saying: “If the numbers continue to increase at this rate, it’s very simple: there will come a time when our doors for intensive care will close, ”said Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
Remarkable: Belgium is the third European country to adopt door locks this week.
Going deeper: A new round of coronavirus inactivation in the US and Europe