Belgium to open bars and restaurants but not nightclubs

BRUSSELS: Belgium will reopen bars, restaurants and other areas of social and cultural life from June 8, but not nightclubs, a government minister said on Wednesday.

The comments by federal budget minister David Clarinval came ahead of a government meeting later in the day to announce a further easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

“All sectors will reopen, but not for night clubs unfortunately,” Clarinval told La Premiere television. Tourist attractions, camping sites and movie theatres would resume, along with sports training and matches behind closed doors.

Clarinval said Belgians would be allowed to meet more people, abolishing a rule that said a maximum of four people were allowed to visit the same household.

“All numbers are green,” Clarinval said, as Belgium reported only 70 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

With a population of 11.5 million, Belgium is one of the nations hardest hit by COVID-19, but it began phasing out lockdown measures at the beginning of May.

After reopening non-food shops last month, the country allowed schools, markets, museums and zoos to partially operate again. Belgium may also decide to reopen its borders with European countries from June 15.

Belgium has so far reported a total of 58,685 cases of COVID-19 and 9,522 deaths.

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