To enable the sector to resume its activities under the best possible conditions, at the beginning of July the Brussels-Capital Region and Visit Brussels launched a health safety label designed in collaboration with the international certification company SOCOTEC. The first businesses and institutions have now received their label and applications are still coming in. Visit Brussels has collected their testimonials.
As part of its recovery plan, the Brussels-Capital Region, through its tourist operator Visit Brussels, has launched several initiatives, such as the “No Br__sels without us” communication campaign and a series of funds to support the tourism sector.
The Region has created the Brussels Health Safety Label to reassure the public and provide additional support to the tourism sector. The content of this label was developed in close cooperation with the federations and the partners in the tourism sector. It will evolve in accordance with the directives of the National Security Council and is expected to support the sector in the coming months.
1. The free “Brussels Health Safety Label”
The label is intended for tourism and culture stakeholders, namely attractions and museums, tourist accommodation, guided tours, restaurants and bars, venues, events and fairs. Its purpose is twofold. On the one hand, it will enforce the general mandatory rules applicable to all sectors and those specific to each sector. On the other hand, the label makes it possible to inform and reassure the public about the measures taken by the tourist places they plan to visit.
2. Experiences and testimonials of the very first certified institutions
No fewer than 20 businesses and institutions have received the label to date. Visit Brussels has collected the experiences and testimonials of the very first to be certified.
To obtain the label, the Penta Hotel has implemented a series of specific measures to make its guests’ stay as pleasant as possible, with its “between us” concept. With floor markings, installation of hand sanitiser gel dispensers, adaptation of breakfast, provision of hooks to avoid touching door handles and lift buttons, they have done everything possible to make customers feel comfortable and reassured in their (“between us”) bubble.
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3. Hotel Made in Louise
In this mansion hotel, everything has been done to meet the criteria of the label and allow visitors to make the most of the various facilities available to them. The measures taken by the establishment to ensure its guests have a pleasant stay include plexiglass at reception, disinfection of the rooms, reorganisation and rearrangement of breakfast, QR code for menus and information in the rooms and the provision of sanitiser gel.
4. Restaurant Vincent
In this establishment, the recommendations are also followed to the letter. The measures include the reduction of the number of tables by 50% to ensure social distancing, provision of hand sanitiser gel, floor markings, direction of flow, entry to and exit from the establishment through two different doors, and separate portions of salt, pepper and other condiments. With regard to staff, the small team of five people respects the rules established by the NSC on a daily basis and tries to encourage clients to do the same.
5. Spa 30 (venue: congress hall) run by QED
Located in the heart of the European quarter, Spa 30 has quickly put in place a series of measures to reassure its Belgian and foreign clients. The concrete actions that have been implemented by the establishment include reducing the number of places in meeting rooms to ensure social distancing, taking temperatures at the entrance, plexiglass at the reception, regular cleaning and disinfection of the premises, provision of hand sanitiser gel and introduction of flow direction.
6. Bruxelles Bavard
To meet the criteria for obtaining the label, Bruxelles Bavard asbl, an association of guides, used the award protocol established by Visit Brussels, adapting it to its sector of activity. Before a visit, a list of rules is sent to visitors and guides to ensure everyone’s safety. With audioguides to ensure social distancing systematically cleaned after each visit, the provision of hand sanitiser gel, the wearing of masks and a ban on touching the monuments, everything is in place to allow visitors to discover Brussels differently and with complete peace of mind.
“Obtaining the label is really very important for us. We find it essential to show the public that measures have been put in place. The label allows us to certify that the measures we have taken are adequate and help to protect customers. This is an important sign to our clients. It is a tangible way of proving to them that it is entirely possible to enjoy a guided tour in complete safety,” said Sacha Seggai and Dominika Figini Kasprzyk, President and employee respectively of Bruxelles Bavard asbl.
BOZAR strongly believes that art and well-being are closely linked. Art is good for you, especially in times of corona. BOZAR has introduced many measures in order to guarantee safe and comfortable visitor access. Everything has been thought of to welcome our visitors safely: online ticket reservations; restricting the number of people; designating time slots for exhibition visits, establishing clear and prominent signs to ensure that social distancing is maintained; marking routes; paperless communication via the website and the BOZAR-app
“Ensuring public safety and access to culture in these troubled times is our priority. By obtaining the Brussels Health Safety Label, we are able to encourage the public to visit places dedicated to culture – a sector that has been greatly affected by the COVID crisis – and to reinforce the idea that the artistic and cultural experience is a pillar of human well-being and harmony,” said Paul Dujardin, CEO & Artistic Director BOZAR
8. The label in practice
The label is now available to all tourism partners who wish to apply for it. It is free for applicants, who simply need to fill out a special form on the Visit Brussels website. Once the application has been accepted, the partner receives a certificate and all the material (visuals, poster, etc.) to be displayed in its facade or window. In addition to this in situ visibility, the label will be promoted via a communication campaign orchestrated by Visit Brussels.
To ensure that the label is properly applied, certified businesses and institutions will be subject to random checks by the certification partner of Visit Brussels, the company SOCOTEC, which has been active in the world of security for more than 20 years. The purpose of these checks will be to ensure that the rules necessary for obtaining the certification are being properly implemented and respected.