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Belgium extends mask-wearing requirement from 25 July

13:43 23/07/2020

Customers in restaurants and cafes will be required to wear a mask when not sitting down, from Saturday 25 July, Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmès has announced.

They will also be asked to leave their contact details, which should be kept for 14 days, to facilitate the contact-tracing efforts if a customer or staff member tests positive for coronavirus.

Belgium's national security council has also extended the mask requirement to include markets, funfairs, shopping streets and any other busy area. Each municipality will be responsible for defining these areas.

Night shops will be required to close at 22.00 - instead of 1.00 - to discourage late-night get-togethers.

Phase 5 of Belgium's deconfinement strategy will not go ahead yet, prime minister Sophie Wilmès said. The maximum attendance limits at events - 200 indoors and 400 outdoors - will remain in place until at least 1 September.

The rules on "social bubbles" remain unchanged - 15 people per week maximum. "This is per week, not per day," Wilmès reminded.

Wilmès said the recent increase in infections "should be taken extremely seriously ... it's not abnormal but it must be kept under control".

Written by The Bulletin