Belgium to make face masks mandatory in shops, cinemas, museums

Belgium will make face masks mandatory in shops and several other indoor venues from Saturday to combat the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced.

Wearing a mouth-and-nose covering is already obligatory on public transport and for those working in a close-contact environment, such as hairdressers.

From Saturday, that rule will be expanded to include shops and shopping centers as well as cinemas, theaters, concert venues, places of worship, museums and libraries, Wilmès said late on Thursday.

“This list may change over time, depending on the epidemiological situation of our country,” she said. “Wearing a mask is always strongly recommended in other situations.”

Belgium has faced criticism for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in part due to its