The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health announced on Monday the end of the containment and the resumption of several activities on May 11th. Shops will be able to reopen, and social contacts will restart on a limited basis by continuing to respect the safety measures.
“It’s a return to normality“, but not a return to the way things were before. By announcing the end of the containment or “Bleift Doheem” at a press conference late Monday afternoon, Xavier Bettel (DP) and Paulette Lenert (LSAP) were intransigent on the respect of the measures to contain the spread of the virus: barrier gestures and social distancing. Discipline must be combined with solidarity.
Four more people were tested positive compared to Sunday, bringing the number of people affected by Covid-19 to 3,828. There were no additional deaths reported. 113 people are hospitalized, 21 of them in intensive care.
Considering the positive results over the last few days and the systematic monitoring of health facilities, the Government decided to start a new phase on May 11th:
- Shops can reopen. A precise list of authorized businesses will be released in the coming hours. With a ministerial announcement to come, the modalities of attendance will be adapted this Wednesday.
- The personal care sector, such as hairdressers and beauticians, will be able to return to work only by appointment.
- It will be possible to regain some form of social contact with up to six people (exceptions may apply to people living under the same roof) with the necessary discipline to limit the risk of spreading the virus. “The aim is to resume limited social contact with others, paying attention to the multiplier factor“, specifies Xavier Bettel. “And if it’s the same six people (each time), so much the better“. It’s not yet time for a barbecue or a party at home, says the Prime Minister, as if to better illustrate the idea of moderation that prevails, including in the denunciations that the authorities want to avoid.
- Gatherings and other outdoor events will be allowed, limited to 20 people.
- Cultural venues will be able to welcome the public again, avoiding queues and preserving distance and barrier gestures. Outdoor events that allow this, such as drive-in cinema, will also be possible.
- Outdoor sports will be allowed again, except team and contact sports. The changing rooms will remain closed.
- Indoor leisure areas, such as fitness rooms, casinos, discos or nightclubs, will remain closed.
- The same applies to the sector of tourism and services – forced to survive via delivery for restaurants – for which additional accompanying measures are being discussed. Pastry tasting salons are also affected. If the evolution of Covid-19 continues to unfold positively, the Prime Minister has indicated that bars and restaurants will once again serve meals on their premises on June 1st, subject to adjustments.
Discussions are ongoing within the government to adjust the specific measures that have been implemented to support the economy.
The same discussions will have to continue with neighboring countries concerning teleworking and the tolerance threshold allowed for cross-border workers. Xavier Bettel clarified that telework remains a good measure of social distancing and would continue to be favored in the coming weeks.
50 masks per inhabitant and cross-border
The Government, which has been busy with working groups modelling the evolution of the pandemic according to deconfinement scenarios, has not recorded a significant increase in infections following the reopening of construction sites on April 20th.
Xavier Bettel said he wanted to take the time to conduct the necessary analyses and exchange views with the specialists before taking the decisions announced on Monday. Concerned representatives of the economic sectors were waiting for these measures.
The masks, which have become indispensable elements in daily protection against Covid-19, will remind everyone that ” the virus is now part of our daily life“, and “we must learn to live with it“.
The Prime Minister has announced that a new massive distribution of masks will take place in the coming days. Each person over the age of 16 will receive 50 masks.
“The same applies to cross-border workers“, adds Xavier Bettel. “Discussions are ongoing to determine how the distribution can be done, so that people who work in that sector have the same opportunity to protect themselves“.
Paulette Lenert remarked that if the strict measures, the personnel mobilized and the infrastructures deployed did not ensure a minor impact of the pandemic, the possibility that containment will tighten again remains if the virus resurges.
As Xavier Bettel said on 20th March: Everyone remains part of the solution.