The Belgian authorities on Wednesday slightly eased the restrictive measures in the framework of the pandemic of the covid-19, despite the increase in the number of cases, and put the metropolitan area of Lisbon and the central region of Portugal in the “red”.
Among the amendments to the measures adopted this Wednesday by the Belgian authorities after a meeting of the National Security Council is the end of the ban on travel from the “red zones” – classified as high risk of contagion -, which is replaced for a recommendation to “strongly advise” these destinations, accompanied by a seven-day quarantine, with a test on the fifth.
With the reinclusion of the Lisbon metropolitan area and the central region in [nova] “red list”, which will take effect on Friday, September 25, anyone who arrives in Belgian territory from these regions – and intends to stay longer than 48 hours – will have to perform a screening test and be quarantined .
Belgium was the only Member State to ban travel from high-risk areas within the EU, having decided to abolish this ban this Wednesday in the name of “harmonizing rules at European level”, at a time when the European Commission is trying to Member States to adopt common and harmonized rules on everything that affects free movement within the Community.
The most visible change to the current rules in Belgium to contain the spread of covid-19 announced on Wednesday, however, is the fact that the use of a mask is no longer mandatory outdoors in the Brussels region.
In force since 12 August, the obligation to wear a protective mask at all times is only applicable to closed places (such as commercial establishments, cinemas and public transport) or outdoor areas with a large number of people. .
The new rules appear paradoxically at a time when cases of covid-19 continue to fire in Belgium, which recorded an average of 1,374 daily cases in the last week (60% more than in the previous week), and witnesses a continuous increase in hospitalizations , with 18 consecutive days of climb.
In the last 14 days, Belgium recorded an average of 132.3 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, which represents the sixth highest rate of positive in the EU, surpassed only by Spain (314.8), Czech Republic (218.6) , France (197.8), Luxembourg (169.7) and Malta (144), according to data from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.