After an unprecedented global health crisis linked to the Covid19 coronavirus epidemic, Luxembourg went into deconfinement at the beginning of May.
But the month of July seems to mark the return of a second wave.
Coronavirus, a second wave from July 2020?
The month of July 2020 seems to bring, in addition to the beautiful days and summer weather, the return of infections.
After a limited number of Covid-related contaminations per day, Luxembourg has been finding a number of infected people per day, more than 100 since mid-July.
The government has therefore decided on a maximum number of 10 persons invited per outbreak. The population is once again reminded to strictly respect the barrier gestures.
Barrier actions against the spread of the virus
The government strongly recommends the following barrier actions to protect against any respiratory infection that may be induced by the coronavirus.
- Regular hand washing with soap
- Use of disposable tissues for coughing or blowing one’s nose. These tissues should be disposed of in a waste bin with a lid
- Avoid close contact (minimum social distance of 2 metres) and avoid shaking hands or kissing
- Avoid touching your face with your hands
- Wearing the mask recommended for outings. Little by little, pharmacies are once again supplied with masks. Some private initiatives are currently being carried out to make handmade masks which are then distributed to those who need them most: supermarket staff, retirement homes, …
A website has been set up by the Luxembourg government coronavirus.gouvernement.lu/ on which you can find all the necessary information, as well as answers to all your questions.
Lockdown easing and protective measures
A gradual deconfinement is being implemented as of April 20. This deconfinement takes place in several stages. The following stages will be studied according to the evolution of the situation in real time.
Opening to the public in cinemas starting June 17
Cinemas and cultural centres are also allowed to welcome the public again from 29 May, but with masks and prior reservation. The Luxembourg cinemas have reached an agreement to reopen jointly on Wednesday 17 June 2020 in order to organise arrangements for the safety of their customers by then.
Currently alternating, the schools could again welcome all the children for the last 2 weeks of school, from 8am to 1pm.
Opening of intra-European borders from 15 June
European countries are gradually opening their borders without restrictions. This has been the case for France, Germany, Belgium and Greece since 15 June. Other countries are gradually opening their borders but with restrictions. Spain is expected to open its borders from 21 June.
Reopening of cafés and restaurants as of May 29th
Restaurants and cafés are allowed to reopen to the public on 27 May if they have a terrace, on 29 May for others. They will have to respect very strict sanitary measures with a distance of 1.5 m from the tables or the presence of Plexiglas protection, the wearing of a mask is compulsory when circulating in the dining room and when taking orders. Clients will be allowed a maximum of 4 people at the table, unless they are a family.
The civil or religious ceremonies will be able to welcome their members again on the condition once again to respect the sanitary safety measures.
The fitness rooms will also be able to reopen. Swimming pools, wellness areas and children’s playgrounds will remain closed until further notice.
Findel Airport will reopen. Luxair has announced a resumption of its flights for May 29th. This reopening will be done with all the usual security measures, including disinfection of baggage trolleys, bus transport to reduced aircraft and protective glass between passengers and staff.
Testing of the entire population with Covid19
As part of the deconfinement, the entire population will be tested starting June 1 to assess immunity to Covid-19. Students and teachers will be the first to benefit from this measure.
17 screening centres throughout the country have been set up since 1 June. They will test up to 20,000 people a day. Proposals for screening are gradually being sent to the population on a voluntary basis. Test results are sent within 48 hours after oral swabbing.
Deconfinement continues as of May 25, new measures
On 25 May, deconfinement takes a new turn with the resumption of primary schools, crèches and the reopening of medical homes.
Our children went back to school in 2 alternating groups A and B with strict protection measures: obligation to wear a “buff” scarf distributed by the government, separation of the groups at the bus stops with specific bus transport, marking on the ground so as not to cross each other in school buildings, school from 8am to 1pm, separate tables, …
The crèches welcome the children again but with a limited number of children.
The services of the medical houses are once again accessible to patients at the usual on-call hours. Patients must come alone if they do not require any specific accompaniment, must wear a mask and must respect the VR schedule prearranged via santé.lu/mm or at the number 20 333 111.
Finally, the bus lines are also strengthening their offer to gradually return to their usual rhythm. You can find information here line by line.
Compulsory oral protection and social distancing 2 metres
This progressive deconfinement is accompanied by protective measures to limit the risks of contamination. Namely, everyone must obligatorily be provided with mouth protection as soon as the social deconfinement measures cannot be ensured and this, since April 20.
Masks are distributed by the communes and the State, at a rate of 5 disposable surgical masks per person in the first instance. As of 11 May, 50 additional masks are to be distributed by the Army to the population over 16 years of age and to border residents.
In all cases, in addition to oral protection, social distancing measures of 2 metres must be observed whenever possible, including in shops and transport.
Testing of the entire population with Covid19
As part of the deconfinement, the entire population will be tested for immunity to Covid-19 by the end of May. Students and teachers will be the first to benefit from this measure. As of mid-May, 17 screening centres will be set up. They will allow testing of up to 20,000 people per day on a voluntary basis.
To date, the borders with Belgium or France remain closed until further notice by these countries. Germany is gradually reopening its borders and lifting systematic controls. Only compelling reasons such as professional activity, medical emergencies or assistance to vulnerable persons allow passage to neighbouring countries.
Decontainnment measures as of 11 May
As of May 11, 2020 and the return to high school, shops are allowed to reopen their doors. This is among others the case of hairdressers and beauty salons.
Moreover, while 32 listed sports are again allowed, among others outdoor sports such as tennis, golf, … indoor sports are still prohibited, as well as the use of changing rooms and shower rooms.
It is again allowed to have visitors in the house. These visits are however limited to a maximum of 6 people outside and 12 people in total in the foyer. Here again, everyone is required to respect the measures of social distancing and individual protection.
Some museums and cultural centers are gradually reopening their doors.
While many companies still favour teleworking, others are asking their employees to return home while respecting the barriers.
Deconfinements as of May 4
The schools are due to resume gradually from 4 May, 11 and 25 May depending on the child’s class.
The return of schools will be done in several stages, starting on 4 May.In the first stage, students in higher education and in the last year of secondary education (last year of high school) will resume on 4 May. Examinations will therefore normally be held from 25 May on the programme up to and including 13 March. In a second phase, the other students in secondary education will resume classes from Monday 11 May. Classes will be held for students in 2 groups, alternating every other week. Pupils in primary education (Ecole fondamentale), nurseries and day care such as Maisons Relais will resume school from Monday 25 May.
The extra-curricular activities will not resume until the summer, except for the conservatory classes from May 11th in individual lessons.
The medical practices resume their activities as of May 4 with certain rules. Patients will have to make an appointment by phone beforehand. Only the sick person must be present except in the case of children or dependent persons. Wearing a mask is obligatory, as well as hand disinfection.
Some small shops should also be able to reopen as of May 4.
Lockdown easing as of April 20
From 20 April, the building sites are to resume, the recycling centres reopen and the DIY stores reopen. This first stage will last 3 weeks and will be carried out in compliance with protective measures and respect for barrier gestures.
Lockdown and population protection measures since March,16
Within the confinement of the population, which concerns some 620,000 residents and cross-border commuters, only the necessary activities are being maintained. The population is urged to stay at home and to limit social contacts to the maximum extent possible.
It means that only one person at a time is permitted to go out to :
- food shopping or basic necessities, as well as agricultural, viticultural, horticultural and forestry products,
- go to the health structures (doctor, pharmacist, …)
- travel to the workplace to carry out his or her professional activity, if teleworking is not possible
- assist the elderly, minors, dependent or vulnerable persons
in case of emergency to banking, insurance, social security, postal services
- in case of absolute necessity.
Leisure activities must be limited and are tolerated on an individual basis or limited to people living under the same roof, provided that a social distance of 2 metres is respected.
Despite a gradual recovery of activity, all demonstrations and rallies are prohibited until 31 July inclusive.
Closure of schools until 4 May
All schools have been closed from 16 March and until further notice until 4 May 2020. The children will not resume school on 20 April and will continue school via the internet for 2 weeks after the end of the Easter school holidays.
In practical terms, 150,000 pupils and 20,000 teachers are now following the class online, in contact by e-mail or via digital platforms.
A dedicated website schouldoheem.lu/ has been specially created for the occasion, in the 5 main languages of the country (Luxembourgish, French, German, English, Portuguese). A hotline (tel. 8002 9090) is available to answer questions from pupils, parents and teachers.
Closure of cafés, restaurants and other non-priority public places
All cafés, restaurants, and other places open to the public that are not a priority in terms of activity must be kept closed. Some continue to deliver to your home.
Faced with the cessation of all commercial activity, numerous initiatives have been taken to support shopkeepers, including the website to support the Luxembourg community of retailers. Consumers can buy on the website vouchers between 5 and 100 euros, valid at registered retailers. The funds collected, excluding a 10% commission, are immediately paid back to the storekeepers, to enable them to pay their charges while waiting for their shop to reopen. At the end of the crisis, the vouchers will be used at that retailer to buy goods.
The reopening of hotels, cafés and restaurants and other non-priority businesses will be reviewed as of May 11.
Sports halls, infrastructures and other sports facilities such as golf courses will remain closed to the public at least until mid-July and depending on the evolution of the epidemic following the first deconfinement measures.
Supermarkets and other food stores
Still open during the Covid crisis, supermarkets have adapted by imposing a social distancing from their customers. The flow of shoppers is regulated as soon as they enter the store and a distance of 2 metres is required when waiting at the checkouts. Cashiers are now protected with the appropriate equipment: gloves, mask and glass to allow protection from customers.
In addition, many supermarkets disinfect the trolleys between each customer and provide their customers with gel and gloves.
As of April 20, each client must be equipped with a mouth mask and respect the distance of 2 meters.
The Luxembourg government has clearly made public health its number one priority. All the necessary medical services have been deployed to combat the coronavirus outbreak on Luxembourg territory.
Coronavirus screening in Advanced Care Centres
4 advanced care centres have been set up to screen for Coronavirus in people with symptoms of infection. Accessible without a prescription, these CSAs have 8 lines of consulting physicians and are open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Consultations are free of charge.
- Luxembourg-Kirchberg – Luxexpo 10, Circuit de la Foire L-1347 Luxembourg-Kirchberg
- Esch/Belval – Rockhal 5, avenue du Rock’n Roll L-4083 Esch-sur-Alzette
- Ettelbruck – Däichhal 3, rue du Deich L-9012 Ettelbruck
- Grevenmacher – Centre culturel place du Marché aux Bestiaux L-6731 Grevenmacher (opening 9h – 12h)
The government has set up a medical e-consultation platform as part of the Covid 19 pandemic. The doctena.lu site has also adapted by now offering video-consultations.
In Luxembourg, as in many other activities, hospital services are dependent on cross-border commuters to maintain their activity. The government has therefore requisitioned many hotel rooms made available to cross-border commuters working in hospitals in order to improve their working conditions and ensure the safety of their families. The services have therefore been maintained, and have proved their effectiveness.
Ten patients from the Great East of France, overwhelmed by the pandemic, were thus welcomed in Luxembourg hospitals for treatment.
Luxembourg has a good hospital structure to accommodate Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalisation. The construction of a temporary hospital at the CHL offers an additional capacity of 200 extra beds and 100 ventilators. The CHEM has also strengthened its structures by installing additional beds in its cafeteria, for a total of 128 beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients.
CHL closed its Covid19 intensive care unit on May 18, 2020.
Coronavirus research and control
The Ministry of Economy has recently released 30 million euros to support research projects against the coronavirus and initiatives to produce products such as masks, hydroalcoholic gel, gowns, etc. to fight against the virus.
Economic measures to help companies within the framework of Covid-19
The Luxembourg government has released funds to help companies affected by the coronavirus crisis.
- Aid for the self-employed: at the initiative of the Minister for the Self-Employed, self-employed workers experiencing financial difficulties linked to the Covid-19 crisis may apply for an emergency allowance of 2,500 euros, provided that their professional income is less than two and a half times the minimum social wage.
- Aid for VSEs: VSEs (maximum 9 employees) whose activity has been interrupted in the context of the fight against coronavirus (Grand-Ducal regulation of 18 March 2020) may apply for a subsidy of 5,000 euros, provided that their annual turnover is greater than 15,000 euros.
- Aid to the media: the media were thus able to benefit from aid of 5,000 euros per journalist who participated in the continuity of information at the height of the pandemic crisis.
- Other professions such as dentists, for example, who were forced to close their practices, were also able to benefit from aid.
- Read more here
Looking at Luxembourg’s figures to date, with a decline in the number of people infected on a daily basis, one would think that the wave has passed. But it is crucial that we do not slacken our efforts on a daily basis. And thanks again to all the people who have actively contributed to caring for our patients and saving lives!
#stayhome #staysafe #staysmart #bleiftdoheem