The National Security Council (NSC) has announced the transition to the federal phase. Decisions are therefore now taken by a coordination committee within the National Crisis Centre, to which the federated entities are affiliated. The NSC also announced additional measures judged necessary to protect the whole population against the spread of coronavirus in Belgium. From the healthcare point of view, the country remains in phase 2, the aim of which is to try to contain the dispersion and multiplication of the virus.
On the initiative of the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region and the Head of Public Service, the Regional Security Council* (CORES) met immediately after in order to take stock of the situation and translate these new measures into action on the Brussels-Capital Region level. These measures apply from midnight on Friday 13 March, enabling everyone to make their own arrangements, and will run through until and including 3 April. They involve the following in particular:
For your health
- The primary concern is the health of citizens.
- The aim of the measures is to limit contact between people in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Elderly people living alone are encouraged to stay at home and do their shopping outside peak periods.
For your journeys
- Public transport continues to operate, but its use is restricted to essential journeys.
- Employers are urged to adapt work schedules in order to avoid excessive transport concentrations and are encouraged to give priority to teleworking.
For your children’s schooling
- As far as schools are concerned, lessons are suspended. Childcare will be organised at least for the children of medical, healthcare and government department personnel (public security). Parents will also be able to find a solution in schools for children who could otherwise only be cared for by elderly people.
- Day-care centres remain open.
- For colleges and universities, it is recommended that distance learning course modules should be developed. These institutions are therefore not closed but are requested to set up alternatives to traditional courses in auditoriums and confined spaces.
Concerning shops and so-called “recreational” activities (sports, cultural, folkloric, etc..)
- All such activities are banned, regardless of their size and whether public or private.
- Restaurants, cafés, disco’s and similar establishments are to remain closed.
- Hotels remain open except for their restaurants, if they have one.
- Home delivery and drive-ins are permitted.
- Shops remain open all week except weekends.
- Food shops and pharmacies remain open as normal (including weekends). Nevertheless, they are urged to increase hygiene measures based on the recommendations already issued.
For your social life
- All gatherings and events are prohibited.
- Discos, cafes, bars and restaurants are to remain closed.
All members of CORES have shown solidarity and responsibility, and have agreed on the joint implementation of measures to curb the epidemic and protect the most vulnerable. The members of CORES also call on every citizen to show solidarity and civic sense.
Alongside the chain of healthcare professionals and relevant authorities, each and every citizen plays a vital role in containing the epidemic. Individual responsibility is the best protection against the virus. In this context, hygiene measures and behaviour that maintains a personal barrier must be applied more intensively. The manner in which the Brussels Region gets through this crisis depends on this type of behaviour.
CORES is ready to meet at any time, depending on how the situation develops.
*This council chaired by the minister-president of the Brussels-Capital Region is composed of the head of public service, the crown prosecutor of Brussels, the presidents of the police associations, the administrative coordinating director, the judicial director, and the commanding officers of each of the six local police zones in the Brussels-Capital Region. Its composition is extended to include all the mayors of the 19 Brussels communes.
For more information:
For all information concerning the virus, all hygiene measures to be taken, frequently asked questions as well as the specific measures taken by the federal authorities;
For all information concerning the virus, all hygiene measures to be taken and the specific measures taken by the Brussels authorities.
13 March 2020