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Coronavirus

Brussels Imposes Curfew on Bars as Coronavirus Cases Soar

September 28, 2020

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Facing a surge of new coronavirus cases far higher than in other parts of Belgium, Brussels authorities are closing bars early in the EU institutions capital city.

From Monday night, all bars and cafes will have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. while other businesses selling drinks or food will shut down at 10 p.m. In addition, eating at street markets is now forbidden.

According to local media, authorities initially thought about starting the bar curfew at 10 p.m. but the proposal was rejected to support virus-ravaged businesses. According to the Belgian cafes federation, half of the country’s 12,000 bars may not survive the coronavirus crisis.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 114,000 coronavirus infections have been recorded in hard-hit Belgium — a country of 11.5-million residents — including 9,980 deaths. From Sept. 17-23, 11,934 new cases were diagnosed, with the biggest spike in Brussels, where the positive rate now averages 9.7% compared to 4.7% in the whole of Belgium.

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