03/17/2020 Belgium Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès
Dirk Waem / BELGA / dpa


The Belgian authorities have imposed the use of a mask in a large part of public spaces as of this Saturday. Belgium is the leading country in the list of victims per million inhabitants by coronavirus.

Specifically, citizens will have to wear a mask in stores, shopping malls, cinemas, theaters and show rooms, places of worship, museums, libraries, casinos, bank branches and even in judicial buildings. Previously, the use of coverage in public transport was mandatory, always with the exception for children under twelve and people with respiratory problems.

Those who do not comply with the obligation may be fined, as well as establishments, which will have to pay up to 750 euros and could even be closed by repetition.

The decision was made on Thursday by the Agreements Committee in the presence of the members of the Group of Experts in Charge of the Exit Strategy (GEES).

The list could be expanded as experts consider it necessary given the evolution of the epidemiological situation, authorities warn, according to the Belgian radio station RTL. In any case, they point out that the use of a mask is « always highly recommended » in other situations.

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès was appealed to Parliament on Thursday for her delay in deciding to wear a mask in shops.

Belgium has confirmed 62,469 coronavirus cases and 9,782 related deaths – 112 cases and one death in the last 24 hours accounted for.

Furthermore, the country is in second place for deaths per million inhabitants (844), only behind San Marino (1,238). In third place is Andorra (673), followed by the United Kingdom (658), Spain (607), Italy (578), Sweden (547), France (460) and the United States (413).