Germany is in the grip of a “dramatic” fourth Covid wave, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said on the eve of a crisis meeting with regional leaders.
Daily infections hit a new German record of 52,826 on Wednesday as European governments responded to a surge on much of the continent.
Belgium announced a series of measures in an attempt to avoid a lockdown.
“All the alarm signals are red,” said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, as he told people to limit personal contact.
“Europe’s map is quickly going red, and we are the same.”
Children in Belgium will have to wear masks from the age of 10, rather than the current age of 12. Working from home will become compulsory from Saturday for four days a week. Passes known as Covid Safe Tickets will be required in theatres, cinemas and museums.