Belgium reverts to tighter Easter lockdown amid virus spike

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium is reintroducing a stricter lockdown in response to a worrying surge of new COVID-19 infections. The government announced that schools would be closed as of Monday and residents would have limited access to nonessential businesses starting Saturday. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the virus variant first identified in Britain is taking a heavy toll on the nation’s health. Confirmed virus cases have increased 40% over the last week and hospital admissions rose 28% following a long stable period. Under the new rules, nonessential shops can remain open but customers need to book appointments. Hairdressers and tattoo shops must close again until April 25.