POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

New laws outline restrictions in time of covid-19



Where do I have to wear a mask? What are the rules on sports and dining out? All this and more is explained in the two new covid-19 laws which entered into force on Thursday for one month Nader Ghavami

Where do I have to wear a mask? What are the rules on sports and dining out? All this and more is explained in the two new covid-19 laws which entered into force on Thursday for one month Nader Ghavami

Two new laws related to covid-19 entered into force in Luxembourg on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know for the next month.

Emergency measures introduced at the start of the pandemic ceased at midnight on 24 June to be replaced with two new laws concerning people and businesses.

The measures outlined in the first law are based on restricting mass gatherings, adopting protective gestures like wearing masks and respecting a social distance, and testing and isolating people who become infected.

The second law focuses on health restrictions related to economic, sports, cultural and other activities open to the public. They come as the number of coronavirus cases in Luxembourg reaches 4,140 of which 65 are active cases. Covid-19 has claimed 110 lives in the grand duchy since the first coronavirus carrier was reported in the country on 29 February. These measures aim to prevent a resurgence in case numbers, easing pressure on health facilities and ultimately saving lives.

 

Mandatory protective measures

Wearing a mask is mandatory for:

Users of public transport (bus, train, tram); the driver is exempted from the compulsory wearing of masks when an interpersonal distance of two metres is respected or when there is a sign separating the driver from the passengers;

Activities open to the public: shops, ticket offices, cultural activities, leisure activities, etc.; the driver is exempted from wearing the mask when a distance of two metres between the driver and the passengers is respected or when a sign separates the driver from the passengers.

Activities open to the public: shops, ticket offices, cultural activities, leisure activities, etc.

 

Mask exemptions

Children under 6 years of age;

Minors under 13 years of age for outdoor activities;

People with disabilities who are in possession of a medical certificate justifying this exemption and who implement health measures to prevent the spread of the virus;

Religious, cultural and sporting actors during the exercise of their activities.

Distancing or wearing a mask is compulsory for:

Gatherings of more than 20 people when events are held in a closed establishment or in an open place are authorised under the following two conditions:

The provision of assigned seating for the persons attending the event;

The distance of two metres between persons or the wearing of masks must be respected.

During gatherings in private places, the health ministry strongly recommends applying distancing measures, wearing a mask or an equivalent face covering when the distance of two metres cannot be respected.

The obligation to be assigned seating does not apply when exercising the freedom to demonstrate or at outdoor funerals. However, masks must be worn if an interpersonal distance of two metres cannot be maintained.

At trade fairs, exhibitions and markets, the wearing of a mask is compulsory at all times for exhibitors and visitors if an interpersonal distance of two metres cannot be maintained.

 

Specific measures

Restaurants, bars and cafés, dining rooms in accommodation establishments, consumer lounges, canteens and any other place where food is occasionally served are obliged to apply the following measures:

Customers shall be served only at seats;

Each table shall seat a maximum of 10 persons unless the diners are from the same household;

Tables placed side by side shall be separated by a distance of at least 1.5 metres or, if the distance is less than 1.5 metres, by a barrier or physical separation to limit the risk of infection;

Masks must be worn by the customer when not seated at the table;

Masks must be worn by staff who are in direct contact with the customer;

Closing time must be at midnight at the latest, with no exceptions possible.

The spa areas of an establishment may only be occupied by one person or by several people from the same household.

Physical contact in the context of sports activities is forbidden except for “elite” sportsmen and women. This exception also applies to sports programmes organised by the Sportlycée, with the exception of competitions.

Physical contact in the context of cultural activities is prohibited except for professional theatre and film actors and professional dancers, subject to compliance with the rules of prevention in the context of the fight against the covid-19 pandemic. A grand ducal regulation may impose health rules for screening, distancing and disinfection.

 

Prohibited activities

Fairs and exhibitions remain prohibited unless they are held outdoors.

Discos must remain closed.

 

Monitoring the evolution of the virus

If people become infected by coronavirus they will be required to provide a limited amount of information to the health directorate to help them identify others who may also have become infected during the previous 48 hours.

People responsible for journeys organised on mass passenger transport, in charge of hospitals, accommodation facilities or care networks may also be required to provide a certain amount of information to the health directorate on request.

This data will be processed in accordance with data protection rules and anonymised three months after the end of the state of the crisis. The directorate may take measures to prevent an infected patient from passing the virus on.

These could be:

Quarantine at the actual residence or other place of dwelling for a period of seven days with a test for covid-19 infection from the fifth day onwards. If the person refuses to be tested on the fifth day, the quarantine shall be extended for a maximum of seven days;

Isolation at the current residence or other place of residence with a ban on leaving, for a renewable period of two weeks, in the event of a positive test result for covid-19, for a maximum of two times.

The person concerned shall be issued with a certificate of incapacity for work or exemption from schooling. He or she may lodge an appeal against the order to the administrative court within three days of notification or receipt of the order.

If the infected person presents a danger to the health of others and objects to being accommodated in another suitable place, the chief judge of the district court of the place of residence, if not of the residence of the person concerned, may decide, by means of an order, the forced confinement of the infected person in a hospital establishment or in another appropriate and equipped institution, facility or structure, for a maximum duration of the isolation order still to be executed. This measure is subject to very strict conditions which are detailed in article 6 of the act concerning natural persons.

Both laws are applicable for one month and may be adapted at any time if necessary.