Belgium is set to remove all its COVID-19 restrictions from Monday, by ending the need to wear facial masks in almost all public places & ending the need to show a pass of COVID-19 for indoor venues from cafes to sports halls.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo added that the essential easing of measures had come almost exactly two years since the beginning of the pandemic, which is home to NATO and EU institutions.
He further added, “I think it is an important step that we are taking on. It is a sign principally of our resilience & perseverance faced with a pandemic that gave us little chance to rest.”
From Monday, Belgian wanted to dine in a restaurant, go for a drink in a bar or visit a museum or cinema will no longer need to show a COVID-19 pass, proving vaccination, recent recovery from infection or a negative test. The move mirrors a change planned in neighbouring France for March 14.
Currently required for most indoor venues, Masks will only be mandatory on public transport and in hospitals and care homes. Capacity limits on indoor venues will also be lifted.
Belgians returning from travel to other EU countries or non-EU countries with the pandemic under control would also no longer be required to fill in special COVID forms.
COVID infections have dropped from a record above 75,000 on January 24 during the peak of the omicron variant surge to a daily average of about 6,000 in the week to February 28, one of the lowest per capita rates in Europe.
Hospital admissions, patients in intensive care and fatalities have also declined sharply and did not hit the peaks of previous waves.