Thursday 6 August 2020 3:59 pm

Brussels set to make face masks compulsory in public places

The local Brussels government is preparing to force people to wear face masks in public spaces and in private places accessible by the public, should the recent surge in coronavirus infections continue.

According to Rudi Vervoor, the minister-president of the Brussels region, the order will be imposed as soon as the daily number of cases rises above 50 in every 100,000.

Read more: Ministers set to impose quarantine restrictions on Belgium

Last week, the regional average for cases per day was 38.4, prompting officials to impose swift curbs on social engagements.

The announcement came with UK ministers reportedly set to announce that incoming travellers from Belgium would have to quarantine for 14 days due to the spike in cases.

A number of other countries, including Estonia, Ireland, Latvia and Norway, have already introduced similar restrictions.

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Germany and the Netherlands have also advised citizens not to travel to the northern city of Antwerp after an increase in cases in the region.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EDDC), over the last 14 days the number of cases per 100,000 in Belgium has risen to 49.6.

This is one of the highest rates in Europe, behind only Luxembourg (194.2), Romania (83.0) and Spain (78.0).

Read more: Government wasted £150m on unusable face masks bought from banker

In total, there have been over 71,000 confirmed infections in Belgium, with 9,852 people having died from the virus so far.

Due to the the size of Belgium’s population, that means that the country has one of the highest per capita death rates from the disease in the world.