On Friday June 18th, Belgium’s Consultative Committee met and determined that from this Sunday, 27th of June, an easing of measures would come into effect. The measures are included in Ministerial Decree published by Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden, and they will be in force until the 30th of September. Minister Verlinden noted, however, that the measures could be revised depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
These are some of the new measures, as collected by the Brussels Times.
Each household can receive a maximum of eight people at the same time inside the house. Children up to 12 years old do not need to be counted. Larger groups are only allowed if all members belong to the same household. Groups cannot change composition during the same activity.
No restrictions on the number of people who can go shopping together. Night shops are allowed to open during the same hours as the hospitality sector, meaning between 5:00 AM and 1:00 AM. Demonstrations can take place if everyone adheres to the face mask obligation and the rules of social distancing.
Teleworking is no longer mandatory, but remains strongly recommended. Group activities that require are also allowed.
2. Bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants are allowed to open their indoor and outdoor areas from 5:00 AM to 1:00 AM. Same rules apply to takeaway meals and home deliveries. A maximum of eight people can share a table, not counting children up to 12 years old. Households with more than eight members are also allowed to sit together.
On terraces, tables have to be placed at a distance of at least 1.5 meters apart. If they are separated by plexiglass with a minimum height of at least 1.8 meters, the distance can be reduced. No restrictions on the number of people at indoor banquets and receptions.
An entry ban is currently applicable to travelers coming from countries included on the “very high-risk” list. Countries such as India, the UK, Brazil, and South Africa currently appear on the list. Exceptions are only made for Belgian nationals and people who have their main residence in Belgium, as well as for a very limited number of authorized essential journeys.
From 1 July, fully vaccinated individuals coming from “red zones” will be allowed to make non-essential journeys to Belgium if they can present a vaccination certificate approved by the Belgian authorities.
Non-Belgian residents in possession of an EU Digital Covid Certificate will no longer be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 72 hours before arrival.
4. Culture and events
Until Thursday 29th: A seated audience of maximum 2,000 people is allowed indoors, and 2,500 people outdoors.
From Friday 30 July: An audience of maximum 3,000 people is allowed indoors, and 5,000 people outdoors (not counting children up to 12 years old).
These activities may take place during the same hours as the hospitality industry (between 5:00 AM and 1:00 AM.) Events with less than 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, a permission is not needed. Markets, annual fairs and flea markets are allowed but if more than 5,000 visitors are present at the same time, a one-way traffic plan has to be drawn up, with separate entrances and exits.
5. Weddings, funerals and mass events
For weddings, funerals, cremations and religious services, a maximum of 200 people are allowed to assemble in a room provided for that purpose.
When the services take place outside or when visiting a cemetery, the maximum number can be increased to 400. The hygiene measures, however, must be observed at all times. Larger numbers are possible with a permit.
From 13 August, a minimum 5,000 people per day and maximum 75,000 people per day, are allowed at outdoor mass events. An authorization is required. The use of an air quality meter (CO2) is mandatory and it must be installed in the center of the tent in a place clearly visible to the visitor. The rules of social distancing must be respected at points where people could come into close contact, such as queues.
6. Review of measures
The next Consultative Committee is set to take place on the 16th of July.