Belgium will relax coronavirus lockdown measures on June 9 after a gradual “summer plan” was introduced by the Consultative Committee, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The “summer plan” will depend on the progress of the vaccination campaign and provided the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units remains under 500, De Croo said.

“Four out of 10 adult Belgians have already received their first vaccine dose. And the campaign will also accelerate,” he said.

On Saturday, bars and restaurants re-opened for the first time in months, allowing groups of four people per table to sit outside, the Xinhua news agency reported.

From June 9, cinemas, gyms and theatres will reopen their doors, as well as large events with a maximum of 200 people inside. This is also the case for the indoor areas of zoos and amusement parks.

To date, Belgium has recorded a total of 1,017,876 Covid-19 cases and 24,583 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 280 candidate vaccines — including 97 in clinical trials — are being developed worldwide, including in Germany, Britain, China, the US, and Russia, according to data provided by the World Health Organization on May 7.

–IANS

int/rs