The crisis unit of Antwerp Province has introduced new measures to stem the new surge in coronavirus cases that is mainly centred on the northern province. The measures come in addition to the new restrictions introduced by the federal government yesterday and valid for the whole country as of Wednesday.
A curfew is being imposed across Antwerp Province from 11:30PM till 6AM. Pubs and restaurants must close at 11PM. Workers have been instructed to work from home.
During the hours of curfew everybody in Antwerp is obliged to remain at home and only to go out for essential travel, e.g. to seek medical aid or do work that cannot be done from home.
Cathy Berx, Governor of Antwerp province, has made an appeal to people from outside the province not to travel to Antwerp in order to protect their own health and that of others. Governor Berx urged people not to try to be creative and sidestep any of the restrictions: “There is a total ban on partying! Do not travel to party elsewhere. Be creative to combat the virus!”
People in Antwerp Province must have a face covering at hand at all times and wear it in public spaces and in locations when a 1.5m distance cannot be guaranteed.
In bars, restaurants and hotels a 1.5m physical distance must be guaranteed between parties of people at all times, unless parties are separated by a physical obstacle, e.g. a screen. Everybody who enters an establishment (bar, restaurant, hotel) will be registered in case they need to be contacted later on due to a case of coronavirus. Contact details will be kept for 4 weeks to allow contact tracers to do their work.
In bars and restaurants parties are limited to a strict minimum e.g. the members of one household. Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp, notes the police will ensure that bars and restaurants close at 11PM.
Restrictions to shopping in stores now also apply at markets. Fun-shopping is banned. Shop alone, wear a face covering and don’t stay in a store longer than 30 minutes.
Working from home is obligatory unless this is entirely not possible.
Individual contact sports are banned. Team sports are banned for people aged 18 and more.
An area called the “most stricken area” has been demarcated. Here all events and parties are banned. Halls and fitness centres are closed. The area includes the City of Antwerp and the municipalities of Zwijndrecht, Stabroek, Kapellen, Brasschaat, Schoten, Wijnegem, Wommelgem, Ranst, Boechout, Borsbeek, Mortsel, Hove, Lint, Kontich, Edegem, Aartselaar, Boom, Niel, Schelle en Hemiksem and Rumst. All measures take effect as soon as the provincial legislation is published. This will be on Wednesday at the latest.
Stay safe. Don’t go to Antwerp Province.