Belgium’s shops were shut ‘as a coronavirus shock tactic’ – The Times

Shutting shops at the end of October was a “psychological shock” tactic to bring home the need for restrictions to arrest the spread of the virus, the country’s health minister has admitted.

Non-essential retailers were forced to close at the end of October as infection rates reached the highest level in Europe and hospital admissions threatened to overwhelm intensive care units. Shops will reopen today after a decline in infections.

Frank Vandenbroucke told the broadcaster VRT that, with masks and social distancing, “shopping does not really involve any risk”.