Health

Schools to reopen as Belgium OKs further easing of lockdown rules

Belgium confirmed Wednesday the country will relax some lockdown measures, including a partial reopening of schools, amid encouraging numbers on COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The National Security Council, made up of politicians and experts, announced that schools will reopen part-time from next Monday for some elementary and secondary grades. Nursery schools will remain closed.

The government had previously said reopening schools was its goal, provided the situation continues to improve.

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès also made a surprise announcement: Hair salons may open by appointment starting on Monday.

Last week, Belgium began to slowly relax its coronavirus restrictions, allowing the reopening of shops and indoor gatherings of up to four people.

The second phase, starting next Monday, affects not just schools. Museums and zoos may reopen under certain conditions, which include issuing tickets online and social distancing. Outdoor food markets may also reopen if local authorities give their green light and if social distancing is maintained.

The government said its preparing an exit strategy for the rest of the cultural sector.

The next important phase starts June 8, when decisions about tourism, restaurants and bars are expected. Socializing in larger groups may also be addressed. The government isnt expected to make any announcements on those measures until the week before, however.

“There will probably not be a return to normality before the summer,” Wilmès said. “Our strategy will be continuously evaluated in the coming weeks.”

“I know some people are worried about a second wave,” she added, reRead More – Source