Belgium's interior minister has brought clarity to the real estate market following confusion over how to organise property viewings amid the country's coronavirus restrictions.
Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden has said that on-site visits can still go forward but only if they are unaccompanied, with only the prospective future occupants allowed inside.
Following the introduction of restrictions on social contacts and gatherings, a federal agency banned in-person property viewings, making online virtual tours the only alternative.
The ban was replicated from the country's first lockdown, under which no viewings were allowed either. But, this time around, representatives of the market said that the decrees governing the new lockdown were ambiguous on the subject of on-site viewings.
The new regulation means that landlords or realtors will no longer be able to give the customary tour of a property. They can be present on the day of the viewing but must wait outside.
"We want to avoid as many interpersonal contacts as possible and having people meet in closed or small spaces where they cannot respect social distancing," Verlinden told VRT.
"Virtual tours can of course still be organised, if a [property manager] wants to make it possible to view a building without a physical visit," she said.
The Brussels Times