Covid-19: no new restrictions


Prime minister Xavier Bettel with health minister Paulette Lenert at the press conference on Saturday eveningPhoto: government press service screenshot 

Prime minister Xavier Bettel has said that the government has decided that introducing new legislation to combat covid-19 would not serve any purpose.

In a joint press conference with health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) on Saturday evening, Xavier Bettel (DP) said that an extraordinary meeting of cabinet had concluded that new restrictions in the Horesca or retails sectors or any institutions would not do anything to halt the spread of covid-19.

But Bettel made a renewed appeal for people to follow existing social distancing and health guidelines. And he said that remote working should be used as much as possible.

On Saturday, the health ministry published the latest daily statistics that indicated a further 175 people had tested positive from a total of 8,192 tests conducted in the previous 24 hours. On both Thursday and Friday, the number of daily new infections had surpassed 200. Currently 51 patients are being treated in hospital, of whom 4 are in intensive care. 133 people have died since the pandemic first hit Luxembourg at the end of February.

Several retirement homes and elderly care facilities had already announced new confinement measures, ranging from banning visitors to requiring residents to take their meals in their rooms.

Earlier in the day, speaking on RTL radio’s “Background am Gespréich” programme, Bettel had said that schools should remain open as much as possible and that a second lockdown was “the last thing that I, as prime minister, want to do.”

The CSV, at its annual congress in Soleuvre had been critical of what it judged to be the prime minister’s laid-back attitude earlier in the week. The party’s parliamentary faction leader, Martine Hansen, said she Bettel had only started taking the pandemic seriously again once French president Emmanuel Macron had announced a curfew in some of France’s larger cities. “You could almost think that Mr. Macron was the real prime minister of Luxembourg,” Hansen said.