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Belgium will maintain its mandatory mask mandate and tighten its travel rules following a review of its coronavirus measures, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels on Monday evening, De Croo noted that “the vaccination campaign is progressing very well, we now have more than 8 out of 10 adults who have received a first dose, which puts us in the dark. summit in Europe “.

“Among vulnerable people – because they have an underlying disease – today, 3 in 4 people are fully vaccinated. And, if we look at those over sixty-five, today more than 9 out of 10 are fully vaccinated, “he added.

But the Prime Minister warned: “We must relax the measures step by step. We must remain vigilant. People can still get sick.

Wearing a face covering will remain compulsory indoors in places such as: shops, public transport, cafes, bars, places of worship, or in places where social distancing cannot be maintained, with the exception of children under 12 years old.

There will be a stricter procedure for countries in the European Union or in the Schengen area where dangerous viral variants circulate. Upon returning from such a high-risk European area, people who have not yet been fully vaccinated should also have a PCR test on day 7 in addition to a PCR test on day 1.

The measures will be in place at least until September 1 and will be reviewed in a month, according to a press release.

According to the latest figures from Sciensano, the Belgian health authority, the number of infections and hospital admissions has started to increase.

From July 13 to 19, an average of 26 people were admitted to hospital each day, a 48% increase from the previous week.

The latest consolidated data on coronavirus cases show that between July 10 and July 16, an average of 1,330 cases were reported each day, a 42% increase from the previous week.

In total, Belgium has recorded 1,107,208 cases and 25,213 deaths linked to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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