Belgium imposes new lockdown to fight third COVID-19 wave
Belgium will close schools, non-food stores and hairdressers for four weeks from Saturday, in a sharp renewed lockdown designed to contain a rising third wave of COVID-19 infections, Trend reports citing Reuters.
A year on from the first pandemic shutdown, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference that the variant of the virus first discovered in Britain had become dominant in the country and led to a doubling of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
Belgium is one of 19 EU countries with rising infections.
“We are facing a third wave. We will break it, as we did the previous ones,” De Croo said. “We have decided on a short term pain. It’s a heavy decision to take, but if we didn’t the consequences would be more serious.”
Schools will close from Monday, a week earlier than planned before Easter holidays, and reopen on April 19.
Belgians will only be able to go to non-essential stores, such as for clothing, by appointment and evening curfews will remain in place, from 10 p.m. in Brussels and midnight elsewhere.