April 24, 2020 / 4:56 PM / 2 months ago

Belgium set to allow gradual easing of lockdown during May

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium is set to allow a gradual easing of coronavirus restriction measures during May, with shops allowed to reopen and the start of some classes in school.

Restrictions in the country, among the hardest hit by COVID-19, are set to be eased in phases starting from May 4. Currently, only shops selling food, home improvement stores, garden centres and pharmacies can open.

Non-food shops would be allowed to re-open from May 11, albeit with strict social distancing measures, Belgian broadcaster RTBF said. Schools would also reopen their doors to a first set of pupils from May 18, newspaper L’Echo said.

Belgian politicians and medical and health experts were meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss how the restrictions should be relaxed.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Marine Strauss

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