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Belgium on course to open up on June 9 as COVID hospitalizations fall

Published: in European News by .

Number of people in ICU falls to below 500.

One of the conditions for Belgium to further loosen its coronavirus restrictions on June 9 has been met, with fewer than 500 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units on Thursday, Steven Van Gucht, a virologist and the government’s COVID spokesperson, said at a press conference Friday.

On June 9, hotels and restaurants will be allowed to offer indoor dining again; theaters and cinemas will open their doors; and workers will begin a staggered return to the office, starting with one day a week. Belgians will also be allowed to invite up to four people to their homes.

Those reopenings were contingent on a decrease in the number of people in intensive care and continued progress in the vaccination campaign. The threshold of fewer than 500 patients with COVID-19 has now been met. If the current trend continues, that number could even drop to under 400 patients by June 7, Van Gucht said.

Hospitalizations remain stable among younger groups, but have declined among those over 60. There are hardly any patients over 80 with COVID in hospitals, as over 90 percent of that age group has received at least one jab and half of that age group is fully vaccinated, according to public health body Sciensano.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email for a complimentary trial. 


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