With the better weather and the Easter break, it's time to look at what you can do to enjoy the weather, while solidly obeying current lockdown measures.
"The coming days promise to be sunny, and even summery. Ideal to enjoy the first sunshine with your family, all while, of course, respecting the well-known measures. Stick to them, even with this beautiful weather," said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the Crisis Centre.
So what can you do to enjoy the weather while respecting the rules?
Running, walking, cycling are all good ideas in the good weather, as long as you take note of a few rules.
- Don't go for a cycle with your cycling club.
- Don't take your car to go to another region, to the sea or to the Ardennes.
- Or to the beach.
"Walking, running or cycling is possible with your family, people you live with under the same roof, or possibly with one friend, while respecting the recommended physical distances between you," said Benoît Ramacker, the spokesperson for the Crisis Centre.
Roller skating, skateboarding, riding on a scooter are also allowed by anyone as of 6 April, according to the updated guidelines by the Crisis Centre.
“It is logical that when a family goes for a walk, children are also allowed to use roller skates or a skateboard," said Stevens.
If you have young children of up to 5 years old, you can also take the car for recreational activities.
“Some families, especially in the city, do not have the opportunity to go for a walk in nature,” said Stevens. “That is why there is this exception now. However, those families certainly should not take a day trip to the sea or the Ardennes. These remain non-essential journeys, and are therefore forbidden,” he added.
People with reduced mobility, such as elderly people and pregnant women, can also take the car. There is also an exemption for people accompanying someone with a physical or mental disability.
Have a barbecue?
Want to have a BBQ to enjoy the nice weather? You can, within reason.
"With this fine weather, some people will certainly want to barbecue. Of course, you can. Do it with your family, with the people you live with under the same roof. However, don't invite your friends, neighbours or relatives, that's for later," said Ramacker.
"Remember that picnics in parks, even with family, are not allowed."
Going for a motorcycle ride, a sailing trip or other forms of recreation?
Not allowed, even if you are staying close to home.
"All non-essential journeys remain forbidden," said Stevens, who encourages people who want to enjoy the sunny weather to rediscover their own neighbourhood on foot or by bicycle.
Going to the Netherlands?
Belgian authorities had already forbidden travelling abroad, unless absolutely necessary, but now Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, explicitly asked Belgians to not go the Netherlands during the Easter break.
"We do not want any travel in the Netherlands during Easter," said Rutte at a press conference addressed mainly to the Dutch citizens, but to German and Belgian tourists as well. "Bleib zu Hause, restez à la maison, stay home," he said, adding that the facilities at holiday parks and campsites will be minimal.
This list is far from exhaustive and is based on the Crisis Center and the FPS Public Health rules of containment to respect against the coronavirus.
Jules Johnston and Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times