(ENG) Communication about the coronavirus

SOCIAL EMERGENCY LINE 059 25 85 85

Ostend has installed a social emergency line. You can reach someone by phone 059 25 85 85 every day, also in the weekends, from 9.00 until 18.00. You can also mail to socialenoodlijn@oostende.be.

What is it for?

  • If you need groceries or urgent medication delivered at your home because you are unable to get them yourself or you do not have enough friends or family to help you with them, you can call this line and we will deliver them at your home. Please be aware that this service is only for the most basic products, like bread, water, milk, spreads, fruit,…
  • If you need a hot meal delivered at your home. You can check with the social emergency line if you qualify for this service. Any payment will be handled by invoice, in order to avoid unnecessary contact.
  • If you are somewhat anxious or just need to talk to someone.    

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FEEL SICK

If you are experiencing mild symptoms which could possibly suggest a coronavirus infection (light fever, coughing, runny nose, flu symptoms, sore throat) …

  • … do not visit the emergency department or the hospital
  • … do not visit your doctor or enter their waiting room
  • … do not visit the pharmacy yourself

As long as the symptoms are mild, you should stay at home for at least seven days and avoid all contact with other people. People with mild symptoms are no longer being tested for coronavirus infection. Please do not take any anti-inflammatory medicine (like Ibuprofen, Brufen or Voltaren). Paracetamol (like Dafalgan) can be taken.

Are your symptoms getting worse? Please contact your doctor by telephone or call the 24 hour doctor service (059 70 97 98). Do not contact the hospitals or emergency departments by telephone.

If you need urgent medication (after talking to a doctor by telephone), please do not go to the pharmacy yourself. Ask someone who is not ill to go to the pharmacy for you. If you do not know anyone who can do this for you, call the social emergency line: 059 25 85 85.

These actions are important in order to protect health care providers such as doctors and nurses, so they can work and fight the virus in the best way possible.

At this moment there is a considerable shortage of face  masks for medical personnel and health care providers. Individuals or companies who have a surplus, are requested to drop off  these masks at the hospital or doctor.a

WE ARE ASKING FOR EVERYONE’S HELP IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE VIRUS!

It is essential that everyone realizes that the Corona virus spreads from one person to another person. It takes some time before one knows one is affected, so even contact between persons who appear to be healthy, still remains a risk. That means that every contact with every other person is a spread risk. Of course a group of persons is an additional serious risk increase.

  • Avoid crowded situations and stay at home as much as possible.
  • Follow the guidelines strictly: do not gather in a group to party, do sports, …
  • Avoid contact between healthy persons and a possibly infected person.
  • Keep your distance. For example: leave a free chair between two persons during a meeting, or leave 1,5 metres between you and the next customer at the store.
  • A mix of different age groups should absolutely be avoided.
  • Good hand hygiene (washing your hands regularly) and good respiratory hygiene when coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose remain very important.

FOR ALL INFORMATION AND UPDATES PLEASE CHECK WWW.OOSTENDE.BE/CORONAVIRUS



OVERVIEW MEASURES CITY OF OSTEND

City hall, ocmw Edith Cavellstraat and local police

For general information or the social emergency line, please call 0800 1 8400 (free number).

Administrative services in city hall and the ocmw building in the Edith Cavellstraat are limited to an absolute minimum and are only accessible by appointment.

Up to and including 19 April all sessions of the city council and committees will be held without an audience, with a limited agenda and without interpellations. There will be a short debate about the local approach to corona. Sessions of the city council can be streamed as usual on www.oostende.be/gemeenteraad.

The neighborhood police offices (wijkkantoren) are closed. For urgent neighborhood matters you can call 059 70 11 11.


Care, Health and Wellbeing

The OCMW building in the Edith Cavellstraat is closed. If you have questions please call 059 59 10 10 or call the free number 0800 1 8400 and someone will help you by phone. Clients are asked to contact their social worker by e-mail or by telephone.

There are no visitors allowed in the care homes run by Ostend city council (de Boarebreker and Alphonse Lacourt).

Hospitals (AZ Damiaan an Campus Serruys AZ Sint-Jan): visitors not allowed.

There are a number of exceptions. Check the hospital’s websites: www.azdamiaan.be/nl/ and www.azsintjan.be/

Are you experiencing mild symptoms? Do not visit the emergency department, hospital or pharmacy too quickly! Read a statement by the medical sector here.

Because both doctors and emergency departments are under considerable pressure due to the coronacrisis, the federal government has decided to activate the general practice contingency plan. Part of this emergency plan is the installment of temporary triage facilities. As of 19 March such a triage facility can be found in community center De Blomme. Click here for more information.

The Huisartsenkring Middenkust (a group that represents all general practitioners (doctors) in Ostend and Bredene) follows the situation very closely.

They take measures to organise 24 hours doctor’s service in the weekends, so you can be treated by telephone (and receive a doctor’s note).

Are you experiencing symptoms? Call your doctor or the 24 hours doctor’s service (059 70 97 98).

Please postpone all medical questions that are not urgent. Do not contact the 24 hours doctor’s service for routine questions.

You can find correct information about the coronavirus on www.info-coronavirus.be.

All Ostend Community Centres remain closed until at least April 19.

For those who have no other solution, the city can provide hot meals at home.

For people who don’t have many friends or family, the city has installed the social emergency line. You can contact someone by phone (059 25 85 85 or the free number 0800 1 8400) or by e-mail (socialenoodlijn@oostende.be).

You can call this number if you have questions about the delivery of groceries and hot meals at home, if you are worried or if you just want to talk to someone.

Daycare centres De Kust en Clemence Wante are closed.

The Medical Social Centre MSOC is still open, but asks to only visit with urgent questions. It’s temporarily closed on Saturdays.

All Ostend city welfare workers of the city of Ostend follow the measures provided by the government (POD Maatschappelijke Integratie) and try to avoid contact with clients where possible.

Appointments that are not urgent will be cancelled and home visits will be postponed.

Clients are asked to contact their social workers directly or to call the general number 059 59 10 10.

The office Wijkkantoor Vuurtoren at Eduard Hammanstraat is closed.

Clients are asked to contact their social workers directly or to call the office on 059 59 15 16.

For intake, TGZ, aid for the homeless, the AWW loket and the energieloket, please make an appointment.

You can only visit the social grocery store Antenne by appointment. If you wish to make an appointment, you can call 059 59 11 99. This way they can limit the number of visitors.

The normal opening times of the Sociaal Verhuurkantoor (SVK) are cancelled until April 19. You can only contact them by telephone (059 43 37 78) or e-mail (info@svkbredeneoostende.be).

Home visits will be limited to a minimum. Personnel will only visit homes in case of urgent interventions (such as an electricity breakdown, broken heating, …). In case of urgency, you can make an appointment by telephone.

Food distribution at Colsol (Blauwkasteelstraat) is organized on Monday and Thursday, from 10:30 on and as long as supplies last. People are admitted in turns, max. four people at a time.

Partners at Huis Kooy / Huis Deweert (Huis van het Kind Edith)

  • Huurdersbond: you can only reach them by telephone (059 59 20 34 or 050 33 77 15) or e-mail (info@huurdersbondwestvlaanderen).
  • Vlaams Woningfonds: you can only reach them by telephone (051 43 19 45).
  • Commissie Juridische Bijstand: only available by telephone (050 64 23 76) on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 12:00 and on Tuesday from 16:00 to 18:00.
  • Pro Deo lawyer: please e-mail bjb@baliewestvlaanderen.
  • Onthaal Welzijn: you can only reach them by telephone (059 59 21 21) or e-mail onthaal@oostende.be
  • Thuiszorg: you can only reach them by telephone (059 59 13 60) or e-mail (thuiszorg@oostende.be)
  • Meldpunt Senioren in Nood: you can only reach them by telephone (059 59 13 50)
  • Kind en Gezin: offices are closed, but starting from 1 April Kind en Gezin will restart their vaccination program for young children. If you have questions you can reach them by telephone (078 15 01 00) or via www.kindengezin.be.
  • Inloopteam: all activities (mothers’ groups + games and gathering) are cancelled. Individual appointments possible - please call 059 59 20 06 for an appointment.
  • Het Ruilhoekje andDe Pamperbank are closed except for urgent matters. Appointments can be made by telephone (059 59 20 06).
  • Huis van het Kind Edith: you can only reach them by telephone (059 59 20 06) or e-mail huisvanhetkind@oostende.be.
  • Pleegzorg Vlaanderen: you can only reach main office by telephone (free number 0800 30 181) or contact Pleegzorg West-Vlaanderen by telephone (051 20 02 22) or e-mail info@pleegzorgvlaanderen.be.
  • Familiehulp vzw - kraamzorg(maternity care): not present. You can reach them by telephone (059 33 91 66) or www.familiehulp.be.
  • Gezinsbond Oostende: not present on Thursday evening (17:00-19:00). You can contact chairman Marc Decloedt (marc.decloedt@telenet.be- 059 70 13 62 - 0479 44 86 24).
  • Loket Kinderopvang: applications for children’s daycare (0-3 years) are only possible by phone on number 0499 55 62 11.
  • Groeipakket: appointments are cancelled. If you have urgent questions you can reach them by e-mail huisvanhetkind@oostende.be(please mention you name, identification number of the national register, telephone number and question).

Other partners

  • Huis van het Kind Louisa:
    • ○ Ontmoetingshuis and Opvoedingswinkel are closed.
    • ○ Individual appointments are possible. Clothing and food are still available. Appointments can be made by phone (059 25 53 04) or by e-mail (info@huisvanhetkindlouisa.be).
  • Arktos (including Local Central): all activities are cancelled.
  • CKG Kapoentje: services continue with some alterations. More information by phone on number 059 25 52 00.
  • De Katrol: the family contact persons are only available by phone (0472 70 52 21). Home visits are cancelled.
  • Samenlevingsopbouw West-Vlaanderen: all activities (including Familiesalons) are cancelled.
  • CLB GO! Oostende: you can reach them by telephone (059 70 21 00) or e-mail info@clbgo-oostende.be. Urgent appointments can be made by telephone.
  • Perspectief: their employees (wijkwerkers) can perform essential tasks, including aid for people who have no one else, obviously observing the strict precautions imposed due to the coronacisis. More information on www.perspectiefwerkt.be, 059 43 37 99 or info@perspectiefwerkt.be.

Horeca and commerce

Caravan and camping sites, holiday homes, bed & breakfasts and holiday parks are temporarily closed. You can no longer rent out (part of) your home on websites like AirBnB.

Owners of a second home in Ostend cannot use it for as long as the current measures are in place.

Cafes, restaurants and clubs stay closed. 

Snack bars, coffee bars, sandwich shops, chip shops, kebab shops, caterers, ice cream parlours, … can stay open for take away service (terraces are forbidden!). Home delivery and drive-in are also allowed. The city council and the Economisch Huis will investigate how they can support local businesses. We are recommending the public to order food by telephone or online, or to use the take-away service.

Food trucks are prohibited, just like food stalls on the market. They therefore cannot stay open. A mobile seller of roast chicken or pizza’s for example is considered a food truck.

Hotels remain open, except for the restaurants inside the hotels.

Food stores, pet food stores, pharmacies and newsagents, in short stores that deliver essential services, remain open as usual, also in the weekend. The number of customers inside the store is limited to 1 person per 10 square metres.

There is no supply problem at the stores: there is no need for hoarding or for panic-buying. Food stores are being supplied as usual.

Night shops can stay open to sell food or pet food from 7:00 until 22:00, provided that there is no crowding. Beware of noise disturbance! As usual, the city will take measures in case of noise disturbance.

Hairdressers have to close until at least 19 April.

Other stores and shops are closed, as well as the open air markets. This means that the markets on Thursday and Saturday will not take place.

Companies and businesses have to make sure employees can work from home if possible. If not, social distancing has to be guaranteed.


Education, children & child care

The Ostend city council is organizing extra emergency child care for children whose parents are employed in health care, security services or the food sector. Click here for more information.

All schools in Ostend are suspending their lessons up to and including April 19. Kindergartens, elementary schools and secondary schools ask that children stay at home as of March 16. The same applies to adult education.

Schools organise childcare, because some parents (for example people who work in health care or security services) cannot be missed at work. Some families can only ask grandparents to take care of the children, but this is a risk group for the spread of the virus.Not every parent can work at home and not every parent can take a long leave. During childcare the schools take measures in the field of hygiene, distance, ventilation, … We strongly advise against children being looked after by their grandparents.

Children’s daycare facilities (0-3 years) remain open. This will be evaluated on a daily basis. Are you at home because your activity is temporarily cancelled or because you can work at home? Please keep your children at home as well for the time being.  Do you have to go into work and are the grandparents your only solution for looking after the children? In this case your children can still go to your daycare facility. In any case: children who are ill should remain at home. Parents who decide to look after their children at home in light of the current situation (telework, precautions, etc) will not have to use ‘respijtdagen’. This is viewed as ‘force majeure’. There will be no fines. Read the full letter to parents here.

Private children’s daycare facility (0-3 y) ‘Zo Groot’ has temporarily closed. Parents have been notified.

The Buitenschoolse Kinderopvang (which cares for children before and after school and during holidays) only offers EMERGENCY care at this moment! This emergency care ensures that people in indispensable professions can continue to do their job. Cancelling is free - please call 059 25 17 39 or contact bko.reservaties@oostende.be. See all information here.

The Conservatorium (music school) and Kunstacademie (art school) are closed up to and including April 19.

All youth organisations are requested to cancel all activities and events until the end of this month. This means no weekly or weekend activities of youth organisations like Scouts- en Gidsen Vlaanderen, Chiro Jeugd Vlaanderen, KSA, youth clubs, …

Youth center Duin & Zee, party venue Elysée, multipurpose hall ’t Bosjoenk and the speel-o-theek(for renting toys) are closed up to and including 19 April. All activities are cancelled as well.

De Wegwijzer is also closed up to and including 19 April. Making appointments after 19 April is temporarily not possible. You can contact De Wegwijzer by phone (059 25 89 70 or 059 80 55 00) or by e-mail (dewegwijzer@oostende.be).

All appointments with Loket Kinderopvang and Gezinsopvang (for children’s daycare 0-3 years) will be postponed or, when possible, will be conducted by phone. If you already had an appointment, you will be contacted. For any new questions about children’s daycare (0-3) you can call 059 70 64 99 or 0499 55 62 11 (Kinderopvang) or 059 25 89 35 (Gezinsopvang).

All playgrounds and playing facilities on Belgian territory, indoor and outdoor, have to be closed. The city of Ostend will close its own public playgrounds or make them inaccessible to the extent possible. We also want to ask all private playgrounds and playing facilities, indoor and outdoor, to comply with this measure.

The Ostend city council is cancelling all its youth activities during the easter holidays, meaning there will be no sports camps and no Speelcompagnie. Emergency child care will be provided for children whose parents work in health care, security services or the food sector.

The CLB (Centrum voor Leerlingenbegeleiding) has expanded its chatteam. They are available by phone, e-mail or Skype.

Teenagers and young adults can chat, call or e-mail with people from JAC (JongerenAdviesCentrum).

Teleblok can be reached by live chat or phone. Children and young people with questions or problems can contact Awel by phone, live chat or e-mail. Tele-onthaal can be reached by phone or live chat 24/7.


Recreation

Everyone has to stay at home in order to avoid contacts outside their family as much as possible. Exceptions: to go to work or other essential movements (to the doctor, pharmacy, post office, gas station, buying food, helping people in need).

All recreational, sports, cultural and folkloric activities are cancelled, regardless of how many people are involved or whether they are public or private.

Exercising outdoors is allowed and even recommended. You can exercise individually or you can go for a walk, but only with members of your family or with one friend. Warning: social distancing guidelines (1,5 metres of distance) must be observed.

Walking, running and cycling are the only forms of exercise allowed in open air. It is not permitted to drive somewhere else so you can walk, run or cycle there. Hunting, fishing, horse riding and other recreational activities are prohibited. More information on the Agentschap Natuur en Bos website.

Walking your dog on the beach is possible up to and including at least 19 April. During the easter holdidays Ostend residents who live close to the beach can walk their dog there, always taking the necessary precautions: only with the people you live with, max. 1 other person, social distance, no groups, only walking (no staying in the same place).

The Uitloket is closed up to and including 19 April, but can be reached by phone between 14:00 and 18:00 (059 33 90 00) or by e-mail (uit@oostende.be).

The tourist office is closed up to and including 19 April, but can be reached by phone (059 70 11 99), by e-mail (uit@oostende.be) or by live chat.

The swimming pool and all other municipal sports infrastructure (Mr. V-Arena, sports centers, skate park De Veiling, …) are closed up to and including 19 April.

Cars can no longer enter sportpark De Schorre. Walking, cycling and running in De Schorre are still allowed.

Cultural center De Grote Post is rescheduling all performances and concerts up to and including 19 April. Those who have tickets will be contacted by e-mail. More information onwww.degrotepost.be.

Kursaal Oostende had already cancelled all events and is closed up to and including 19 April.

The library remains closed to the public up to and including 19 April. There is a pick-up service for books, cd’s and dvd’s available by appointment. The ‘Leescafé’, exposition space and public computers are not accessible. More information about the library’s pick-up service here.

Museum MuZEE is closed up to and including 19 April.

Museum Spilliaerthuis is closed up to and including 19 April.

Museum Fort Napoleon is closed up to and including 19 April.

Museum Stadsmuseum Oostende is closed up to and including 19 April.

Museum ships Mercator and Amandine are closed.

The Venetiaanse Gaanderijen were already closed due to renovation, as is museum Ensorhuis.

Renting go-carts is not allowed for the time being.

Despite the sunny weather, the city asks that you do not sit close to one another on benches outside. Restaurants and shops should also take precautions to ensure that social distancing is maintained when organizing queues. They must remove all furniture from their terraces. Because too many people were sitting close together on the benches near the Casino Kursaal, these benches were made inaccessible.

Building beach cabins is allowed starting from 4 April and always while observing the necessary precautions. Using the beach cabins and staying on the beach are not allowed.

Provinciaal domein Raversyde is still open, but only for people who live close by. The parking lot is closed off, but people from the neighborhood can walk, run or cycle there.

Oostende voor Anker is postponed until next year (27-30 May 2021) with the same theme: Ensor in zee. More information on www.oostendevooranker.be.


Recycling facilities (containerpark) and waste

The two Ostend recycling facilities (Zandvoorde and Vuurtorenwijk) reopen on 7 April and will operate during the usual opening hours, observing strict precautions and only for urgent business. Only five people at a time are allowed inside so there could be very long queues.

The compost facilities are also closed. You can put your vegetable and fruit waste in the green wastebags (restafval). We ask you not to leave any waste at the entrance of the compost facilities. Compost collection is cancelled.

Garbage, pmd and garden waste collection is still operational.

 


Events

All events and gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, are prohibited up to and including 19 April. Click here for a – not limitative – list of cancelled or postponed events in Ostend.

All ceremonies organised by the city of Ostend are cancelled up to and including 19 April. Wedding anniversaries where a local dignitary visits the couple at home are postponed.

Civil marriage ceremonies can continue, but without the following reception. Couples are asked to only invite close relatives and friends to city hall. Couples who want to cancel their civil marriage, will receive a refund.

The city of Ostend asks that funerals be held with only the closest relatives/friends present. Gathering in a group after the ceremony is prohibited.

Up to and including 19 April the sessions of the city council and committees will be held without an audience. The sessions of the city council can be streamed as usual onwww.oostende.be/gemeenteraad.

Places of worship like churches and mosques are cancelling all activities until further notice. Places of worship remain open for individual visits for prayer and contemplation.

Communions and the ‘lentefeest’ for children in the 1st and 6th grade are cancelled.


Mobility & Travel

Public transport is still operational, but should only be used when absolutely necessary. If you use public transport to commute to work, please try to travel outside of rush hour.

De Lijn has implemented an adapted timetable, in order to regulate the shortage of drivers. This means there will be less bus and tram rides during rush hour, and all evening lines (local and regional) are cancelled. ‘Belbussen’ are also cancelled. Social distancing must be maintained.

The Kusttram only rides from Monday to Sunday between 6:00 and 21:00 (every 20 minutes). Earlier and later service (during weekends) is cancelled.

Only one third of the usual capacity will be permitted on trams and buses.You can check current service hours on www.delijn.be or via the Lijn app.

Taxi companies and alternative taxi services also remain operational, but are advised to limit the number of passengers.

The Flemish ‘Agentschap voor Maritieme Dienstverlening en Kust’ (responsible for the coastal area and ports of Belgium) is suspending the ferry service in Ostend (between the Visserskaai and Oosteroever) up to and including 19 April 2020.

At this moment no restrictive measures for airports have been imposed. Passengers are requested to maintain social distancing at all times.

Passengers of cruise ships cannot disembark. The ships can receive necessary supplies.

Any travel outside of Belgium that is not necessary, is prohibited up to and including 19 April. Click here for more information on the Foreign Affairs website.

Driving lessons and exams are suspended. If, as a result of this suspension, the obligation with mandatory deadlines cannot be met, the person concerned will be granted a deferment.

The Autokeuring(for the yearly compulsory technical inspection of your car) is closed at least up to and including 19 April.

The city’s bicycle rental service located at the car park near the Maria-Hendrikapark (Iependreef) is closed until further notice as of 17 March 2020. Renting bicycles will no longer be possible.

Cross-border commuters in essential sectors can get a vignette which they can place behind their windscreen in order to cross the border more quickly. More information here.

There is also a certificate for Belgians collecting someone in another country or for people from other countries collecting someone in Belgium (declaration on honour).

Gepubliceerd op dinsdag 17 maart 2020 11.04 u.