Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Belgium Limits Social Contacts to Five as Infection Rate Soars

  • Belgians told to see fewer friends in next four weeks
  • Resurgence of coronavirus epidemic hits Antwerp hardest
People wear protective masks as they walk in the city center of Antwerp, Belgium, on July 27. 

People wear protective masks as they walk in the city center of Antwerp, Belgium, on July 27. 

Photographer: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium enforced tough restrictions on social interactions again as it battles fresh outbreaks of the coronavirus that have multiplied in the past two weeks.

Each household is allowed to have leisurely contact with no more than five other persons for the next four weeks starting Wednesday, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said in Brussels. That’s a reduction from 15 per week, which was on an individual basis. The epidemic situation in the city of Antwerp, home to Europe’s second-biggest port, will require “forceful” action from local authorities, according to Wilmes, who said the restrictions should help the country steer clear from a new lockdown.