Brussels will close cafes, bars and party halls for at least a month

Cafés, tea and coffee shops and banquet halls will close their doors in Brussels for at least a month from 07:00 tomorrow morning. The sports canteens will also be closed. Furthermore, the consumption of alcohol in public spaces is prohibited throughout Brussels, according to the crisis authorities of the Brussels-Capital Region.

With the measures, the rapidly increasing number of infections in the Belgian capital must be contained. Restaurants will remain open. According to the region’s Prime Minister Vervoort, stricter corona rules are necessary. “If we don’t do anything, it’s going to get worse,” he said at a news conference. “The virus is spread all over our region.”

Only Madrid hit harder

Belgian virologist Steven Van Gucht says that of all European capitals, only Madrid is currently more affected by the corona virus than Brussels, where about 540 new cases are now reported daily.

Correspondent Thomas Spekschoor says on NPO Radio 1 that the situation in Brussels is worse than in the rest of Belgium. “And also because the rules have already been tightened up in Madrid, for example, Brussels could not actually be left behind.”

Full hospitals

Hospitals are also filling up, says Spekschoor. In Brussels hospitals, more than 15 percent of all beds in intensive care are used for patients with the corona virus.

“In addition, many patients have been taken to hospitals outside Brussels, but now that the number of infections is rising again in the rest of Belgium, those hospitals say they need those beds themselves again.”

Spekschoor does not think that the tightened rules in Brussels will be lifted in a month. “That was also said about other measures that would apply for a month. They have only become stricter after that.”

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