Brussels: Belgium’s Consultation Committee made up of the federal government and the governments of the federated entities have decided to relax the mandate to wear facemasks, including dining venues and shops, from October 1.
The decision was taken in light of the recent Covid-19 vaccination figures published by the Sciensano public health institute, which showed that 71.94 per cent of the population, or over 8.2 million people, have already been fully inoculated against the virus.
However, wearing a mask remains compulsory in healthcare centres, airports and in major events attended by more than 500 people, reports Xinhua news agency.
The vaccination figures vary from one region to another.
In regions where the rate is low (below 50 per cent), such as in the capital Brussels, the authorities may choose to delay the implementation of certain relaxation measures, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said.
“We’re approaching the autumn season. More than ever, it is important to ensure adequate ventilation and also vaccination,” he said.
To date, Belgium has recorded 1,217,473 Covid-19 cases and 25,494 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the Sciensano institute.