Shops will be able to reopen from 11 May, Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced on Friday.
The federal and regional governments thus chose to deviate from the recommendation of experts on this particular point, who wanted a two phase deconfinement plan, one on 4 May, and the other on 18 May.
Decision makers preferred a system which would target all businesses on the same date - besides the hospitality industry - emphasizing that the reopening will have to comply with strict conditions.
Telework will still remain the norm as much as possible, and wearing a mask will become obligatory on public transport.
Restaurants, bars and cafés will however still have to remain closed.
A potential reopening for that sector is not expected before 8 June and must still be reviewed. "That phase will be complex to tackle," said the Prime Minister.
The Brussels Times