A few hours apart, the Belgian and Dutch prime ministers announced on Friday November 26 new measures to stem a worrying wave of contamination by Covid-19: on November 25, 20,836 new daily cases were recorded in the kingdom Belgian, 22 184 with his neighbor. Absolute records since the start of the pandemic.
More hit proportionally (it has 11.5 million inhabitants, against 17.4 in the Netherlands), Belgium has however adopted less stringent measures than those unveiled in the evening in The Hague by the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte . If the Netherlands does not return to a strict and generalized containment, they will impose, from Sunday, a form of curfew : bars, restaurants and non-essential shops will have to close their doors from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Supermarkets, doctors’ offices and gas stations will be able to stay open three more hours.
In Belgium, a limit of 11 p.m. is set, from Saturday. The discotheques will keep their doors closed while the sports competitions inside will take place without an audience. The Belgian authorities have not reimposed “bubbles”, a maximum number of people gathered in a home, and expect “reasonable” behavior from citizens. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, a maximum of four people from the same family can be accommodated, and they are strongly advised to do a self-test beforehand.
Wind of revolt
According to Mr. Rutte, it is necessary to reduce by 20%, over the next three weeks, the contacts between people: distancing, the compulsory wearing of the mask, the reinforcement of teleworking, the limitation of the occupation of the premises. public to a third of their capacity should, hopes the head of government, help. Like the lack of contact between children and people over 70 years old.
Belgium is adding to its panoply an acceleration of vaccination, with a third dose inoculated before the end of the year to as many people as possible. It also intends to develop the policy of rapid and free tests.
The priority in both countries was to keep schools open, even if the situation is sometimes very difficult. “The consequences of a closure would have been too great for young people “, Underlined Mr. Rutte, who is betting on the development of tests in establishments, as well as on the wearing of masks for children, including the youngest. Belgium is expected to announce a battle plan for schools on Monday.
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