Reducing contacts to stop SARS-CoV-2 transmission during the second pandemic wave in Brussels, Belgium, August to November 2020

Euro Surveill. 2021 Feb;26(7):2100065. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.7.2100065.


To evaluate the effect of physical distancing and school reopening in Brussels between August and November 2020, we monitored changes in the number of reported contacts per SARS-CoV-2 case and associated SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The second COVID-19 pandemic wave in Brussels was the result of increased social contact across all ages following school reopening. Physical distancing measures including closure of bars and restaurants, and limiting close contacts, while primary and secondary schools remained open, reduced social mixing and controlled SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus Infections; Disease outbreak; Europe; Pandemics; Pneumonia, Viral; Reproduction number; SARS-CoV-2; epidemiology; prevention and control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • Physical Distancing
  • Schools*