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COVID-19: Consultative Committee decides not to relax any of the measures, but to tighten rules on foreign travel and impose stricter controls on teleworking

Today, the Consultative Committee discussed the coronavirus situation in our country. After a significant decline over the past eight weeks, the reduction in infection rates has come to a halt. The Consultative Committee has therefore decided that it is not possible to relax any of the measures in force. There will, however, be additional measures and stricter controls of the existing rules will be put in place.

1. Compliance with the number of contacts

The Consultative Committee has reinforced the importance of complying with the existing contact rules, including during the Christmas holidays.

  • A maximum of one ‘cuddle contact’ per family
  • For gatherings outside, the rule of four continues to apply
  • On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, singles may receive both their contacts at the same time

The sale and use of fireworks is also to be prohibited.

2. Strict rules for foreign travel

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

  • Upon returning *from a trip*, a mandatory quarantine of 7 days applies and negative test results will need to be proven. 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 made stricter.
  • At the beginning of 2021, a new PLF system will be introduced, distinguishing between professional and private travel. Business travellers with a certificate from their employer should not have to quarantine providing their PLF shows no risk behaviour. All other travellers must respect quarantine in all circumstances.
  • From 25/12 onwards, all *non-residents* travelling to Belgium from a red zone must submit a recent negative test result (i.e. less than 48 hours old).

In addition, there will also be increased controls applied in respect of filling in the PLF upon arrival in Belgium. Compliance with mandatory quarantine will also be tightened.

3. No shopping for pleasure

Cities and municipalities are asked to continue and, if necessary, intensify their efforts against unauthorised gatherings, shopping for pleasure and cross-border shopping.

Shopping must be done individually and may only last up to 30 minutes.

4. Stricter controls on mandatory teleworking

There will be stricter controls on teleworking, both in the private and public sectors.

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

The Committees for Protection and Prevention at Work will assist in monitoring compliance with sanitary measures and social distancing rules.