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Belgium closes non-essential shops until 13 December, further restricts social contacts
Belgium has ordered non-essential stores, hairdressers, beauty salons and zoos to close from Monday, with new limits on social contacts in a bid to halt the rapid spread of coronavirus.
The latest measures, announced on Friday night, apply for six weeks, until 13 December. The closure of stores will be reviewed after four weeks, on 1 December.
Non-essential stores must close - although they can still offer a "click and collect" service where customers order online and pick up in-store.
Among the businesses that can remain open are supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, DIY stores, garden centres, newsagents, bike shops and car mechanics. But hairdressers, beauty salons and massage parlours must close.
In terms of social contacts, each household can still have close contact with one person - someone you hug, kiss and with whom you spend more than 15 minutes without a mask.
Each household can invite one person to visit their home (if you live alone, two people, but not at the same time), down from the previous limit of four. Outdoors, the existing rule of maximum four people remains in place, with masks and distancing.
The autumn school holidays, which began tonight, have been extended further. Instead of returning to class on 12 November, pupils will have a full two weeks off school and return on Monday 16 November. Pupils in the third year of secondary school and above will resume with a 50:50 mix of in-person and distance learning.
Universities - which all recently entered "code red", scrapping in-person lectures - must maintain 100% distance learning until at least 13 December.
No restrictions on travel were announced. Foreign borders remain open, but travel is strongly discouraged. Remote working remains compulsory unless it is impossible to do so.
Belgium's nationwide curfew - from midnight to 5.00 - remains in place. The Walloon and Brussels regions will maintain their extended curfews from 22.00 to 6.00.
The number of people allowed at a funeral is 15. No reception can be organised afterwards. Hotels must close their restaurants, with guests only allowed to be served food in their room.