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COVID-19: Consultative Committee decides not to relax, but imposes stricter travel rules and strict checks on working from home

Today, the Consultative Committee discussed the corona situation in Belgium. After a significant decline over the past eight weeks, the figures are stagnating. Therefore, the Consultative Committee decided that it is not possible to relax the measures in force. Instead, there will be additional measures and stricter checks on the existing rules.

 

  1. Compliance with the number of contacts

The Consultative Committee reminds everyone of the importance of proper compliance with the existing contact rules, including during the Christmas holidays.

  • No more than one close (cuddle) contact per family
  • For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply.
  • On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, singles are allowed receive both of their contacts at the same time

There is also a general ban on selling or setting off fireworks.

  1. Strict travel rules

Travel is strongly discouraged. For those who do travel, the rules will be made stricter. Anyone staying in a red zone for more than 48 hours is considered a high-risk contact.

  • After returning from a trip, a mandatory quarantine period of 7 days must be observed, after which a negative test result must be provided. This quarantine is not compulsory if the traveller's Passenger Location Form (PLF) shows that the risk of infection is low because of their behaviour. The calculation of this risk score on the PLF will be tightened.
  • Early 2021, a new PLF system will be introduced, distinguishing between business and leisure travel. Business travellers with a certificate from their employer no longer need to quarantine if their PLF does not show any risk behaviour. All other travellers must comply with the quarantine rules under all circumstances. 
  • All non-residents travelling to Belgium from a red zone must submit a recent negative test result (48 hours) starting 25 December.

In addition, stricter checks will be introduced to make sure people have completed their PLF upon arrival in Belgium. Compliance with mandatory quarantine will also be monitored more closely.

  1. No fun shopping

Cities and municipalities are asked to continue and, if necessary, intensify their efforts to prevent unauthorized gatherings, fun shopping and cross-border shopping.

People need to do their shopping alone and for no longer than 30 minutes.

  1. Reinforced checks on mandatory working from home

The requirement of working from home will be checked more closely, both in the private and in the public sectors.

Trade unions and employers are asked to propose tighter measures, in particular to avoid high-risk situations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Committees will assist in monitoring compliance with the health measures and social distancing rules.