POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Covid-19 restrictions to be further eased next week



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Xavier Bettel, the prime minister (DP), said Luxembourg would enter the next phase of deconfinement on Monday 11 May. More shops will be authorised to open and small social gatherings will be permitted. Pictured: Xavier Bettel speaks during a press conference, 4 May 2020. Image: Government webcast screenshot 

Most retailers and cultural institutions will be allowed to reopen, with safety measures in place, on 11 May as Luxembourg will enter the next phase of its deconfinement plan, Xavier Bettel has said.

Hair salons and beauty salons will be able to open, but can only accept customers by appointment to avoid overcrowding, the prime minister said at a press conference on Monday.  

The government will issue detailed guidelines on Wednesday, Bettel said, but obligatory wearing of face masks and maintaining physical distance will play a part in the new rules.

In addition, residents will be allowed to invite 6 guests to their homes and small social gatherings held outdoors will be authorised. Outdoor, non-contact sports, such as golf and horseback riding, will be permitted.

Restaurants could possibly reopen on 1 June, most likely with capacity limitations, if positive trends continue. It was too soon to discuss reopening bars, cafés and discos, Bettel said. The government was working on further support measures for the hospitality sector, which will be announced in the coming days, the PM stated.

Other new steps included the government distributing additional face masks for residents aged 16 and over and to cross-border commuters.

Bettel said the cabinet would discuss potential adjustments to the short-time working scheme at its meeting on Wednesday. Bettel indicated there would be no immediate push away from telecommuting in the private sector by Luxembourg’s government, although the matter remained an open question with neighbouring countries.

“For the moment, the number of new infections is relatively low,” Bettel said, which is why the government was able to ease restrictions further. But Bettel stressed that all residents “need to take their responsibility” in fighting the covid-19 outbreak.

Paulette Lenert, the health minister (LSAP), speaking at the press conference, said the crisis is far from being over and that the government would continue to test and monitor aggressively.