By SAMUEL PETREQUIN, Associated Press
BRUSSELS (AP) — Facing a surge of new coronavirus cases far higher than in other parts of Belgium, Brussels authorities are closing bars early in the EU institutions capital city.
Beginning Monday night, all bars and cafes have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. while any other businesses selling drinks or food will shut down at 10 p.m. In addition, eating at street markets is now forbidden.
Local media said authorities thought about starting the bar curfew at 10 p.m. but the proposal was rejected to support virus-ravaged businesses. According to the Belgian cafes federation, half of the country’s 12,000 bars may not survive the coronavirus crisis.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 114,000 coronavirus infections have been recorded in hard-hit Belgium — a country of 11.5-million residents — including 9,980 deaths. From Sept. 17-23, 11,934 new infections were diagnosed, with