New measures adopted in Luxembourg to fight the Covid-19 virus

The Luxembourgish government has adopted new measures addition to the already existing ones. They are of three types and will apply during one month.

  • A curfew will be applied between 23h and 6h. At that time, you will have to be at home. Residents will have to organize themselves: 23h will not be the time they leave the restaurant table, but the time they are present at home.
  • Amateur sports competitions are suspended. This weekend, in the BGL League, only four of the eight scheduled matches took place. Therefore, the FLF has also decided to postpone all of them.
  • The social bubble narrows to four people. This is the maximum number of guests you will be able to receive under your roof at the same time and without protection masks. Specifically, you will be able to receive four people living in four different houses. Or more than four people if they belong to the same household. But not four groups of four people from different homes.
  • Four is now also the maximum number of people allowed in the same restaurant or café, unless they belong to the same family.

Source: Paperjam

Covid-19 Level 4 Alert: Stricter Rules from Monday 19 October

Following the worrying epidemiological situation, new, stricter measures will come into force from Monday 19 October. As of today, this situation brings the whole country to alert level 4 of the Covid-19 barometer (very high alert level).

The pressure on hospitals and on the continuation of health care not linked to Covid-19 is increasing. Some hospitals are facing numerous absences among their staff. Primary care, especially general medicine, also faces an increasing pressure.

The number of patients with Covid-19 in intensive care is now 2.5 times higher than at the end of March. To prevent hospitals from being further compromised, schools from closing, the economy from grinding to a halt and too many people from being isolated because of widespread containment, the Interinstitutional Concertation Committee has decided to take a number of measures:

  1. Close contacts are limited to a maximum of one person.
  2. Private meetings are limited to four persons for two weeks and always the same persons.
  3. Public meetings are limited to a maximum of four people.
  4. Teleworking becomes the rule, for the activities that allow it and with respect to the continuity of the management of companies and organisations, services and activities.
  5. Small markets and fairs remain open, but the consumption of drinks and food is prohibited. Markets and Christmas markets are prohibited.
  6. Cafes and restaurants are closed. This measure is valid for a period of four weeks and will be reviewed after two weeks. Take-away food can be collected from the establishment until 22h. Receptions and banquets organised by a professional restaurant or catering service are prohibited, except in hotels for guests staying there and funerary receptions (maximum forty people).
  7. Night shops must close at 22h. The sale of alcohol is prohibited after 20h.
  8. It is forbidden to be on the public highway between 24h and 5h, except for essential and non-delayable journeys, such as urgent medical reasons, business trips and travel between home and work.
  9. Indoor activities remain subject to existing protocols until their evaluation next Friday 23 October. The sale of food and drink is prohibited.
  10. Sports competitions: the space reserved for spectators will be halved from 400 to 200 (professionals) or made up solely of members of the same family unit (amateurs). Cafeterias and bars are closed.

The federal government and the governments of the federated entities will do their utmost to provide the best possible support to all those affected financially. Even so that the federal government will double the support it offers as a right of transition for self-employed people who are forced to close down. Existing support measures will be extended. An exemption from the ONSS (National Social Security Office) will also be introduced.

The measures enter into force today, Monday 19 October, and will remain in force for one month before being evaluated.


National Security Council launches the risk management strategy

The National Security Council, enlarged to include the Minister-Presidents, met to discuss the work carried out by the evaluation unit (Celeval), who was asked to develop a longer-term vision of health risk management.

The six golden rules remain the same:

  1. Respect the rules of hygiene
  2. To practise your activities preferably outdoors
  3. Think about vulnerable people
  4. Keep your distance (1.5m)
  5. To limit close contact
  6. To follow the rules on gatherings

Concerning social contacts, citizens can see all the people they wish, provided they always keep their distance and, if this is not possible, wear a mask. In any case, citizens cannot see more than 10 people in the same place at the same time (excluding children).

Close contact with a person who is not part of their household, for more than 15 minutes without a distance of 1m50 and without a mask must be limited as much as possible. Given that studies show that most citizens need a numerical reference, the experts advise everyone not to have close contact with more than 5 people (outside the household) per month at this stage.

For events that are not organised by professionals, it is never possible to bring together more than 10 people at the same time in the same place (excluding children). On the other hand, events organised by professionals, under the cover of respect for the rules of the Horeca protocols, will not have a limit on the number of guests but will have to maintain a maximum of 10 people per table. Dancing will still not be allowed at this stage.

For events with audiences, the current rules will continue to apply until the protocols are adjusted. The National Security Council has asked Celeval to work with the relevant ministers and the different sectors to revise these rules to give stability and predictability to the sectors and give them the capacity to recover while continuing to protect public health.

Regarding wearing masks, it remains mandatory when safety distances cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, as it is unnecessary to impose it everywhere all the time, from 1 October masks will no longer be compulsory outdoors, except in extremely busy places where safety distances cannot be respected (determined by the local authorities) and in well-defined covered places such as public transport, shops or cinemas, for example, regardless of their level of attendance (see list in the ministerial order).

As far as shopping is concerned, there is no longer a limit on the number of people (always respecting the safety distance) and the time allowed for shopping.

In the professional environment, teleworking is still recommended.

On the basis of these six rules, Celeval’s experts continue to work on setting up a barometer of the epidemic at national, regional and also provincial level, which will be implemented gradually. This barometer needs to be further refined. It will operate according to a tiered principle: the more the situation worsens, the more restrictive measures need to be taken. It will be based mainly, but not exclusively, on the evolution of the number of hospitalisations. The aim is to reach a consensus in the Consultation Committee in a fortnight’ time.

A series of decisions have been taken on the subject of testing:

Increasing the testing capacity of existing triage centres and setting up new screening points. The federated entities are currently working on this.

The creation of a call-centre which will make it possible to concentrate all requests towards a single information point and relieve the burden on general practitioners.

The setting up of an appointment platform to dispatch requests through the available centres.

Reducing the administrative burden on doctors through the creation of a “Corona prescription” in mid-October for certain asymptomatic cases – such as return trips, for example.

Or encouraging patients to obtain the results of tests carried out directly on the internet, notably via the Cozo system or masanté.be.

About tracing, the Coronalert mobile application will be launched on 30 September. At the end of this month, a press conference will be organised with all the information about the application.

The quarantine has been shortened and simplified:

In the event of symptom(s), the patient must isolate himself immediately for 7 days and contact his doctor for a test as soon as possible. If the test is positive, the quarantine continues and if the test is negative, the patient can be released as soon as his/her clinical situation allows.

For asymptomatic persons who have had close contact with a positive person, as soon as the person learns or is contacted through contact tracing, the person immediately goes into quarantine for 7 days from the last day that the person had close contact with the infected person. This only in the case of close contact with the positive person. A single test is then necessary on the 5th day. If the test is positive, the quarantine is extended for another 7 days. If the test is negative, the quarantine ends after the 7th day.

As far as the return from holidays is concerned:

From Friday onwards, going to “red zone” region will be strongly discouraged but no longer forbidden.

Returning from an “orange zone” will no longer mean to be tested.

For travellers returning from a “red zone”, they will have to quarantine themselves from the 1st day of their return and test on the 5th day. They will be able to evade this obligation if they fill in a self-assessment document which, after analysis, authorises them to do so. These instructions do not apply to people who spend less than 48 hours in a red zone, such as cross-border commuters.

As regards couples of different nationalities and/or who reside in different countries, the conditions for their reunion have been relaxed. From now on, they will be required to prove at least six months (instead of one year) of living together, one year of relationship (instead of two) or, as before, the existence of a child together.

Control of the sanitary situation, the beginning of the school year for all and future perspectives

The National Security Council, enlarged to include the Ministers-Presidents, met on Thursday 20 August to assess the epidemiological situation and identify measures that should be expanded and those that could be relaxed.

In addition to stabilizing our health situation, the measures in place in recent weeks were aimed at immunizing the beginning of the school year, that is, ensuring that the circulation of the virus is sufficiently controlled so that all children can return to school.

Therefore, all students will be able to return to school, at all levels of education, based on the “code jaune” established by the communities. As a reminder, the code jaune refers to a situation where the presence of the virus remains active but controlled. This system will allow a normal 5-day school week, provided that certain health measures are observed, such as the compulsory wearing of masks for students over 12 years of age and for teachers, and the suspension of certain extracurricular activities in secondary education.

In addition to this common regime, in communes where contamination peaks are observed, the change to an orange colour code will be decided by the Ministers of Education. This colour coding involves adjustments, such as reducing the number of school days for the second and third levels of secondary education. Parents, children and teachers will be informed by the schools.

At the higher education level, given the late start of the school year, consultations are still ongoing to harmonize the rules that will be applied on student campuses.

From 1 September and for a period of one month:

  • The social bubble of 5 persons, i.e. persons with whom citizens have close contacts, will continue to apply, under the same conditions as in August. Contacts within safe distances are still limited to 10 people at a time.
  • The general measures concerning social contacts are difficult to maintain in the long term. We must be able to move from crisis management to long-term risk management dynamics. We have to be able to reinvent the way we maintain social contacts in a sustainable way. In order to do this as normally as possible, while preserving everyone’s health, the experts at Celeval – with the support of other specialists such as psychologists – have been asked to give priority to this issue.
  • Receptions after funerals can be held with a maximum of 50 people, in accordance with the rules that apply to the hotel and catering sector. The next National Security Council will be interested in the question of a possible relaxation of the rules for receptions in general.
  • Regarding shops, it will now be possible to do shopping in pairs (these two people can be accompanied by minors living under the same roof or by a person who needs assistance) and this without any time limit. It goes without saying that everyone’s sense of responsibility is called upon to avoid the effects of crowds. Unlike the other measures valid from 1 September, this measure will apply from 24 August.
  • Concerning spectators, the maximum number of people admitted to an audience – at sporting events, theatres, cultural activities, places of worship, congress halls or auditoriums – will be increased to 200 people inside and 400 people outside. The use of a mask remains mandatory, as does compliance with safety standards and protocols. In order to give more flexibility – where safety rules are respected – to professionals, it will be possible to derogate from this rule after examination by the mayor and authorisation by the competent ministers.
  • Persons who have become physically separated in recent months because they come from different countries and who provide evidence of a lasting relationship but are not married will be able to cross the border as from 1 September. These persons will be subject to the same testing and quarantine rules as others.

With respect to travel, it was recalled that, since 1 August, any person arriving in Belgian territory after a stay abroad of more than 48 hours must fill in the passenger tracing form, which makes it possible to know where the traveller has been. In addition:

  • Anyone returning from a red zone should be tested and remain in quarantine even if they show no symptoms.
  • If the person returns from an orange zone, this is a recommendation. However, this recommendation should be taken seriously, especially if the person returning from an orange zone has had risky contacts.
  • In addition, citizens are asked to actively participate in tracing contacts with regional call centre managers.

The evolution of the health situation will, as always, be closely monitored and a new National Security Council will be organised next month. The long-term objective is to move from crisis management to a long-term risk management dynamic.

The use of the mask is compulsory in Brussels

The use of the mask is compulsory from this Wednesday 12 August 2020 throughout the Brussels-Capital Region.

The use of a mask covering the nose and mouth is now compulsory for all persons aged 12 and over in public places and in private places accessible to the public throughout the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region.


However, the regulation provides for the following exceptions:

– while practising a sport
– in carrying out intensive physical work on the public highway
people with a disability that does not allow them to wear a mask or face protector

In all these cases, physical distances must be respected.

When the use of a mask or any other tissue alternative is not possible for medical reasons, a face protector can be used.

In addition, police controls will be adapted to ensure compliance with this new measure and, more generally, with the measures adopted by the National Security Council on 27 July, which remain in force.

Source: Belgique.Be

Measures taken by the National Security Council of 27 July 2020

Additional measures to strengthen the double strategy to fight the Corona virus’ resurgence

The National Security Council, extended to include the ministers-president, met today in view of the evolution of the epidemiological situation, which is permanently monitored.

Based on the new health information, a new report was requested from Celeval last weekend.

On the basis of this report, it was decided to strengthen the double strategy – national and local – introduced last week to tackle the resurgence of the virus.

National approach

To this end, it is decided that the following measures shall apply from Wednesday 29 July and for at least four weeks (until the end of August):

  • Until now, the social bubble for each individual was limited to 15 people per week. As of Wednesday, the bubble will consist of the same 5 people for the next four weeks and for an entire family, so no longer per individual. Children under the age of twelve are not included in this count. These 5 people are individuals you are allowed to have close contacts with, in addition to the members of your household. In other words, they are contacts with whom social distancing does not always have to be respected.
  • Non-facilitated get-togethers such as gatherings of family or friends are limited to a maximum of 10 people (excluding children under the age of 12). This limit also applies to receptions and banquets.
  • Regarding events that are supervised and follow standard protocols, mayors are responsible for a meticulous re-assessment of the activities they organise or have already authorised on their territory, taking into account the epidemiological evolution. In any case, events with a large audience will be strictly limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors and wearing a face mask will be mandatory. Such events are also only allowed if the safety regulations and protocols are strictly adhered to.
  • Working from home is strongly recommended where possible in order to avoid too much contact between colleagues.
  • The rules that previously applied in shops, i.e. doing your shopping alone (or accompanied by a minor living under the same roof or a person in need of help) for a maximum of 30 minutes (except by appointment), are reinstated.
  • To avoid crowing throughout the country, the measure to grant citizens free train tickets has been postponed until September.
  • Contact tracing will be reinforced in certain specific situations where the epidemiological risk is higher because of individuals being “active”, i.e. mobile or exercising. Contact details are also requested at these locations, such as in wellness centres and at sports lessons. A full list of the locations concerned will be published in the Ministerial Order. They will be subject to the same obligations as the hospitality industry.

Local approach

The National Security Council urges local authorities to take strong measures if the epidemiological situation on their territory deteriorates. They will receive epidemiological data from the regional authorities and will have scope to intervene if the situation so requires.



New Covid-19 measures by the National Security Council

Masks, restaurants, travelling… Belgium steps up the fight against the virus.

The fight against the coronavirus is far from over. The National Security Council (NSC) published new measures.

The evolution of the health situation required new and stricter actions, NSC members said on Thursday.

Phase 5 postponed

Although a certain relaxation of the measures was planned for 1st August, this will not finally happen. In view of the concerning development of the epidemic, the National Security Council has postponed phase 5 of the de-escalation. As a result, the maximum number of people for celebrations and events with indoor and outdoor audience will remain the same.

As announced at the end of June, the maximum number of people in celebration rooms is therefore 50, while events are limited to 200 participants indoors and 400 outdoors.

This deferral is also bad news for event organisers, who will not be able to resume their activities on 1st August. If the epidemiological situation allows it, these activities are expected to resume on 1st September.


The use of the mask is already mandatory in places such as cinemas or public transport, and in others it will also start to be mandatory from Saturday.

Specifically, the use of the mask will be required in markets, street markets, fairs, public buildings and commercial streets.

More generally, the mask will have to be worn in all highly-transited areas, private or public, which will be determined by the municipal authorities. It is also strongly recommended in other cases, especially in situations where safety distance cannot be ensured.


In restaurants and cafes, the use of masks will also increase, as this protection will become mandatory everywhere except at the table.

Another new feature will be that customers will be required to leave a telephone number or e-mail address to follow up of possible contaminations. The data collected will have to be destroyed after 14 days and cannot be used for any other purpose than fighting the epidemic, said Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès. A standard form allowing this information to be collected will be available from Saturday on the FPS Economie website.

In view of the excesses observed in certain establishments (non-compliance with the safety distance, illegal parties, etc.), controls will also be reinforced.

Night shops

The night shops will have to close at 10 p.m. The idea of this measure is to fight the temptation of some customers to visit these shops after the restaurants and bars close.

Increasing the role of mayors

At the local level, mayors will now have “the necessary margin of manoeuvre” to take stronger action if the situation requires it, stated Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès.

In other words, the introduction of small-scale lockouts is not out of the question. However, local authorities will have to consult the regions and governors before taking additional protective measures.

Each of the regions has a phased programme of action that may be adopted by the mayors depending on the situation in their locality.


For travellers, the rules will now be a little more clear. An online form will soon be available on the Foreign Affairs website. Anyone travelling abroad for more than 48 hours will need to fill it in from 1st August.

This “Passenger Location Form” will be valid for everyone, regardless of the means of transport used.

As far as the “orange” zones are concerned, the NSC continues to recommend a period of quarantine and the performance of the test, measures which are compulsory for travellers returning from the “red” zones.

Social bubble

The social bubble of 15, the number of people you can keep in touch with each week, remains the same. However, its maintenance depends on everyone respecting the rules, the Prime Minister warned.

In Flemish nursing homes, visits are still allowed, but physical contact between visitors and residents is now prohibited.

In addition, each citizen must list all persons with whom he or she has had close contact each week.

Golden rules

In addition to these new measures, the Prime Minister has once again insisted that the six golden rules be respected. These rules are not “an advice, but a set of instructions”.

They include washing hands regularly, encouraging outdoor activities, being extremely cautious in the presence of people in risk groups and keeping a safety distance (1.5 metres) when possible.

Although repeated over and over again, these measures have probably been less followed in recent weeks. As a result, the NSC has just stepped up the pace again.



The Interinstitutional Concertation Committee extends the obligation to wear a mask in Belgium

The Interinstitutional Concertation Committee held a meeting on Thursday 9 July in the presence of the members of the Exit Strategy Expert Group (GEES). On this occasion, the members presented a new report to the political leaders in which they recommend the extension of the mandatory use of the mask. They agree with the opinion issued by the Superior Council of Health. On this basis, the Interinstitutional Concertation Committee decided to extend the compulsory use of masks, therefore following the new recommendations of the GEES.

As a reminder, the use of the mask was already compulsory in a limited number of situations, such as in public transport or in the exercise of a profession with close contact with the public (hairdressing, etc.) for instance.

From Saturday 11 July, the use of the mask will also be compulsory:

– in shops and shopping centres;

– in cinemas, theatres, concert halls, conference rooms, auditoriums, places of worship, museums, and libraries

This list could change over time, depending on the epidemiological situation in Belgium. The use of masks is still recommended in other situations.

Citizens who do not respect the obligation to wear a mask in the cases mentioned above may be subject to penal sanctions as stipulated in the ministerial decree. In addition, this decree will specifically consider the possibility to close establishments which repeatedly violate the current rules.

As a reminder, the mask is not compulsory for children under 12 years old. Particular provisions are also made for persons who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons.

A National Electronic Safety Council will ratify this decision on Friday 10th.

The authorities recall and insist that the mask is an additional protection that does not dispense with the six “golden rules” of deconfinement, namely:

– Apply hygiene measures such as regular hand washing;

– Encourage open-air activities;

– Pay particular attention to vulnerable groups;

– Maintain a safety distance of 1.5m as far as possible;

– Limit the number of contacts (15 people per week);

– Limit the size of meetings (15 people).

These six golden rules remain the first line of defence against the virus.

Extension of the agreement with Belgium on the social security affiliation of cross-border workers teleworking until August 31st, 2020

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg, many companies have implemented measures to increase the use of the telework. However, working from the home for cross-border workers may have consequences for their affiliation to social security under the provisions of European legislation for the coordination of the social security systems of Member States.

Romain Schneider, Minister of Social Security, from the beginning of the crisis contacted his Belgian, German and French counterparts to find an agreement to avoid an affiliation change if a certain threshold was exceeded (a 25% according to the EU regulation) for workers and employees affected. Following these contacts, it was decided that, in view of the current exceptional situation, the days of telework due to the COVID-19 crisis would not be taken into account for the determination of the social security legislation applicable to the workers in question, and therefore would have no influence on your affiliation to social security.

This agreement has just been extended with Belgium until August 31st, 2020. With regard to France and Germany, an official response should soon arrive.

Romain Schneider points out: “The extension of this agreement is a strong gesture of solidarity from our neighboring countries. Telework is an important tool in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, so companies and employees must be able to continue without suffer any undesirable consequences. I am sure that France and Germany will also support this approach by extending the agreement that we have had so far”.


Communicate of the Ministry of Social Security



Launch of phase 4 de-escalation, starting July 1st in Belgium

Press release by Sophie Wilmès, Prime Minister

The National Security Council extended with the Ministers-presidents of the regions, agreed for a transition to phase 4 of the de-escalating since July 1st, based on the agreement of the GEES experts that is based on the good evolution of the epidemiological situation.

The six golden rules are still in force:

  • Respect for hygiene rules.
  • Prioritize outdoor activities.
  • Take extra precautions for those at risk.
  • Respect for safety distances.
  • The “extended bubble” rule that increases from 10 to 15 different people per week in addition to the co-living. As a reminder, this right is individual.
  • Group activities cannot exceed 15 people, children included. This applies to all unsupervised meetings, regardless if they take place at home or outdoors.

It will now be possible to open under certain conditions:

  • Pools and wellness centers.
  • Amusement parks and indoor playgrounds.
  • Theatres and cinemas.
  • Casinos and game rooms.
  • Conference rooms.
  • Reception and party rooms with a maximum of 50 people.

Among the conditions is the application of protocols. In addition, the general rules that are already in force for other activities will be applied, such as the mandatory respect of safety distances, the establishment of time slots and crowd management, the cleaning of infrastructure and the use of mouth masks, which continues to be highly recommended.

Activities that cannot be restarted at this stage:

  • Nightlife activities such as disco clubs.
  • Massive events.

However, it will be possible to organize activities from July 1st in front of an audience, under certain conditions established in the protocols.

For regular events organized in permanent structures such as theaters, cinemas, galleries, congress halls, protocols will be drawn up with competent ministers and experts from GEES.

For specific events in the public space, an online tool will be available on July 1st and will serve as a reference for local authorities in granting authorizations for these events. Specific rules should also apply.

For all these events, there is a capacity limit set at:

  • 200 people inside.
  • 400 people outdoors.

This capacity limit will be re-evaluated in August to 400 people indoors and 800 outdoors maximum if the health situation allows it. An exception can be requested for permanent infrastructure with a public sitting to exceed this limit, respecting health regulations.

The maximum number of outdoor participants will also apply to demonstrations. These should always be subject to a request for authorization from local authorities. In any case, they must always be static and take place in a place where safety distances can be respected.

At the same time, in addition to the resumption of these activities, certain protocols will be relaxed as of July 1st:

  • Possibility of going to the stores with people from your contact bubble and without time limitation. The safety distance will continue to apply.
  • Elimination of the limit on the number of positions for the markets. Health protocols and regulations must continue to apply.

With respect to the next National Day, it was decided that the traditional military and civil parade would take another form exceptionally to meet health standards. In fact, different artistic performances in symbolic places will highlight our country and its artists and will be broadcast on television. Detailed communication will be made later on this topic.

On the longer-term perspective, the start of the school year is already in full swing. The ministers of education, in collaboration with the GEES experts, have established a colour code system that indicates how the school should be organized according to the health situation. Education ministers will explain the plan in more detail at a press conference.