Coronavirus.- Belgium closes cinemas, theaters and concert halls for fear of omicron but leaves the hotel trade open

BRUSSELS, 22 (EUROPA PRESS)

As of this Sunday, Belgium will impose new restrictions against the coronavirus that will lead to the closure of cinemas, theaters and concert halls, as well as the prohibition of the public in sports competitions, measures that the federal government has explained as “preventive” to avoid a rapid spread of the omicron variant during the weeks of Christmas holidays.

The new change in the rules to control the pandemic, however, excludes the closure of the hospitality industry, which already faces restrictions such as early closure at 11:00 p.m., and leaves January 10 unchanged as the return date to the first and secondary schools after the holiday break.

In a press conference after several hours of meeting of the federal and regional authorities to agree on the plan, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has indicated that the data on the incidence of the coronavirus point to some optimism because infections and hospitalizations are remitting , but has warned of the risks of the new variant.

De Croo has stressed that omicron is “much more contagious” so “it will soon be dominant” in Belgium, where already 30 percent of those infected have been with the new variant that worries Europe. According to estimates by the European Commission, the omicron variant will also be predominant in the whole of the European Union in mid-January.

In this context, the authorities have chosen to concentrate the new restrictions on the cultural and sports sector where all kinds of indoor activities are prohibited, including cinemas, theaters and concerts, although some exceptions are foreseen for libraries, swimming pools and gyms .

Controls of capacity and pedestrian circulation will also be imposed in crowded outdoor spaces, such as markets or other outdoor events, and stricter capacity will be imposed in commercial interiors, where only one person may be accompanied maximum .

In addition, sports competitions both indoors and outdoors are closed to the public.

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Coronavirus.- Belgium closes cinemas, theaters and concert halls for fear of omicron but leaves the hotel trade open