Belgium unveils ‘summer plan’ to ease Covid curbs

The European Union (EU) has decided to gradually lift travel restrictions on people entering the bloc from Israel…reports Asian Lite News.

Belgium will relax coronavirus lockdown measures on June 9 after a gradual “summer plan” was introduced by the Consultative Committee, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a press conference.

The “summer plan” will depend on the progress of the vaccination campaign and provided the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units remains under 500, De Croo said.

“Four out of 10 adult Belgians have already received their first vaccine dose. And the campaign will also accelerate,” he said.

On Saturday, bars and restaurants re-opened for the first time in months, allowing groups of four people per table to sit outside, the Xinhua news agency reported.

From June 9, cinemas, gyms and theatres will reopen their doors, as well as large events with a maximum of 200 people inside. This is also the case for the indoor areas of zoos and amusement parks.

To date, Belgium has recorded a total of 1,017,876 Covid-19 cases and 24,583 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 280 candidate vaccines — including 97 in clinical trials — are being developed worldwide, including in Germany, Britain, China, the US, and Russia, according to data provided by the World Health Organization on May 7.

The European Union (EU) has decided to gradually lift travel restrictions on people entering the bloc from Israel.

So far, people coming from Israel are only to be allowed to enter the EU if their reasons for travelling are deemed essential, although some countries, for example Greece, have already opened their borders to vaccinated travellers from the Jewish state, reports dpa news agency.

This means that the EU recommends allowing non-essential travel from seven countries, namely Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

The bloc also recommends allowing Chinese citizens in, but this is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

At the outset of the pandemic, all EU countries except the Republic of Ireland, and non-members Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland, banned all but essential travel.

The ban was slightly eased in early July last year, but the epidemiological situation in only a handful of countries was deemed good enough to allow people to travel from there to the bloc.

Exceptions apply to EU residents and their families travelling from countries whose citizens are not yet allowed to re-enter.

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