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Belgium extends mask-wearing as COVID cases rise but rules out boosters for most

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By Euronews
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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo says COVID-19 restrictions possible
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo says COVID-19 restrictions possible   -   Copyright  Euronews

Belgium re-imposed some pandemic measures as coronavirus cases and hospitalisations increase in the country.

The government extended mandatory mask-wearing in indoor settings and encouraged people to be more "prudent", stating that they would not limit activities. They also extended use of the health pass -- the COVID safe ticket -- to more events.

"Wearing a mask is not always something very comfortable but it is a method very useful and effective at preventing virus transmission," Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a press conference.

"It's clear that if we did not have vaccines, we would today be in a catastrophic situation in our hospitals," De Croo said at a press conference later in the day.

Vaccine booster doses only for vulnerable individuals

For the moment, booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines are available to vulnerable individuals, PM De Croo told Euronews earlier, stating that for the moment third doses of the jabs were not being given to the general public.

"For the general public, we have decided not to do it, because we think that it is ethically not the right choice because the benefit of a booster shot to the general population in Belgium would be way lower than the benefit of giving a first shot to people in our neighbourhood outside of Europe," De Croo told Euronews.

"So in Belgium we have made that choice and for the moment [to] stay away from a booster shot because we don’t believe it is justified."

Watch Euronews' Shona Murray interview Belgium's prime minister in the video player above.