© Reuters / Francois Lenoir
Belgium will not return to the strict measures imposed for nearly two months to combat the coronavirus outbreak, even if there's a second wave of Covid-19 cases, according to the interior minister.

The country of 11.5 million people effectively closed down in mid-March, with only shops selling food and pharmacies operating. Other activities have steadily resumed in May, including the reopening of non-food stores. "The first lockdown has taken care of the situation in which we have ended up. These were exceptional circumstances, but we never had Italian or Spanish conditions," minister Pieter De Crem told the Flemish television channel VTM on Sunday.

"If there was a second wave, then I think we will find ourselves in a different situation, namely with testing and tracing. But I think we can rule out that we will have to go back to the tough measures," De Crem said.

Belgium, which is home to both the EU and NATO headquarters, has been among the worst affected countries in Europe, with 57,092 Covid-19 cases and 9,280 deaths, Reuters said. The number of cases, hospital admissions and fatalities has declined since peaking in early April.