State of affairs regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - Prohibition of all public gatherings of over 1,000 people in an indoor area in the Brussels-Capital Region
Brussels, 10 March 2020
Following the meeting of the National Security Council that was held today on the initiative of the Belgian federal government, the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region and the High Official have convened an extraordinary meeting of the Regional Security Council (CORES).
This Council brings together the mayors of the 19 Brussels municipalities and the chiefs of the police forces. In view of the agenda, the Minister-President also invited the Minister of Health of the Common Community Commission and the State Secretary for the Fire and Emergency Medical Care Service.
The aim of this CORES was to establish a state of affairs with regard to the coronavirus outbreak and also to communicate the various social distancing measures. Among other things, the National Security Council has recommended banning any public gathering of over 1,000 people in an indoor area. This measure will be implemented by means of an order by the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region within the scope of his competence to coordinate the prevention and security policy. This order will apply as soon as it is signed and will be valid for the entire territory of the Brussels-Capital Region. The order is valid up to and including 31 March. This measure will then be re-evaluated in the light of the situation.
Other social distancing measures related to school trips and visits to rest homes were recommended by the National Security Council. The mayors of the Brussels-Capital Region also wanted these measures to be implemented. This is currently the subject of a legal analysis and more will be communicated on this matter at a later date.
By way of a reminder, Belgium is in enhanced phase 2, with the aim of containing the impact of the virus as much as possible. In this phase, it is up to the government to take urgent and temporary protective measures.
In the CORES, the mayors of the Brussels-Capital Region collectively advocated coordinated communication from all the competent authorities towards citizens.
Given the population density of the region and the large degree of movement of people across the various municipalities, the Minister-President's order guarantees the coherence of measures that apply to the entire territory.
In general, basic hygiene measures remain in place, namely washing hands with soap, coughing and sneezing into the crook of the elbow and avoiding close contact. We also wish to reiterate the importance of these fundamental precautionary measures for the most vulnerable people in our society.
The communication from the health authorities will be adapted according to how the situation changes. For more information you can consult the website of FPS Public Health at www.info-coronavirus.be or contact the call centre on the free telephone number 0800/14689. The twitter messages from FPS Public Health are also a good source of information.