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Security Council: Facemasks not required outdoors from 1 October
Facemasks are not required to be worn out of doors from 1 October except in crowded areas. That decision was taken by the National Security Council today and announced during a press conference by prime minister Sophie Wilmès (pictured).
Wilmès confirmed that regulations around wearing a facemask indoors remain but that out of doors it is not necessary. She asks that municipalities respect the decision of the Security Council and do not make up their own rules.
The other new measure shortens quarantine to seven days. Anyone arriving in Belgium from a red zone must now quarantine for seven days rather than 14 days.
Also, if you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, you must go into quarantine for seven days. If you have symptoms, get a test immediately. If there are no symptoms, you should still get a test after five days.
If you then test positive, you face seven more days of quarantine. This puts you in quarantine for a total of 12 days, which is sufficient, says Wilmes. If you, however, test negative, you may leave quarantine after a total of seven days.
Quarantine only applies if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive, not people who you have seen at a distance. This new regulation regarding quarantine also comes into force on 1 October.
Bubble of five
Other measures remain the same, including the bubbles of five and 10, but Wilmès clarified the measures. The term "bubble" has essentially been scrapped, but close contact should be limited to up to five people a month outside of your own household.
Close contact means physical contact or not keeping a distance of 1.5 metres nor wearing a facemask for a period of at least 15 minutes. Every person in the household can have a different five people if they choose, and this can be a different group of five every month.
You can see as many people as you want outside of this bubble as long as social distancing is maintained and facemasks are worn if necessary. Private gatherings must be limited to 10 people, with safety and hygiene guidelines respected.
The rules regarding events – 200 people maximum indoors and 400 maximum out of doors – remains the same. Organisers of private events, such as wedding receptions and conferences, may now host an unlimited number of guests and must follow the same rules that apply to restaurants.
Photo ©Olivier Hoslet/BELGA