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Belgium to partially reopen schools, markets, museums & zoos from Monday

Belgian schools will partially reopen and markets, museums and zoos will also be allowed to operate again from next Monday, PM Sophie Wilmes said on Wednesday.

With a population of 11.5 million, Belgium is among the European nations worst hit by Covid-19, but it began a phased easing of the restrictions at the start of May. Belgium has so far reported 53,981 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 8,843 deaths, according to Reuters.

Wilmes said the reopening of non-food shops this week had proceeded smoothly even if there were now queues outside some stores. “Improvements are coming, but we must be patient. We cannot do everything at once,” the PM told reporters.

From next Monday, primary and secondary schools will restart smaller classes of final-year pupils under strict social distancing rules. Museums, historical buildings and zoos can also admit their first visitors, although they will have to sell time-specific tickets online and set up a one-way system showing how people must move through their rooms and galleries.

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