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    Coronavirus: How to celebrate Easter responsibly

    Hiding Easter eggs in your own garden is allowed, according to Belgium's Crisis Centre. Credit: Pixabay

    With a sunny Easter weekend coming up, many people are looking for ways to celebrate the holiday while still respecting the measures to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

    Earlier this week, virologist Marc Van Ranst already said that “the Easter Bunny has an essential profession,” assuring parents and children across the country that coloured eggs and chocolate could still be hidden in their gardens.

    However, Belgium’s Crisis Centre took the time on Friday, during its daily press briefing, to clarify some of the measures and guidelines in relation to the holiday.

    Can you hide eggs in your garden?

    Hiding eggs in your own garden is allowed, the Crisis Centre said, but hiding eggs in the gardens of grandparents or friends is not, not even if grandparents stay inside and watch through the window.

    Dropping off eggs and chocolate is not allowed either, as it is a non-essential journey, the Crisis Centre said. Additionally, the goal is the keep our social circles as small as possible, so inviting friends to join also isn’t allowed.

    “Celebrations will have to take place in your own home, and only with the people living there. This is not the time to go and visit grandparents or friends,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the Crisis Centre.

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    Can you organise an Easter egg hunt?

    Yes, but only for your own family. Bringing along friends is not allowed.

    “The police are aware of this, and will certainly not disturb the Easter Bunnies during their work,” said Van Ranst on national radio. “We have been discussing it all day, but the decision was unanimous: this is an essential profession,” he added.

    However, the advice is to stay close to the area where you live. Taking the car to go to another area where eggs can be hidden more easily is not allowed either.

    When encountering other families on their own Easter hunt, respect the social distancing measures and keep at least 1.5 metres distance.

    Can you organise an Easter brunch in the park?

    No, the same rule against picnics in the park goes for Easter brunches. Going to the park for a walk or a run with one friend is allowed, but going to sit on a bench, against a tree or on the grass is not allowed. Meeting up with friends, even when respecting the social distance, still violates the ban on gatherings.

    Can you go to church on Sunday?

    Yes, churches remain open for personal reflection, on the condition that you go on your own or with your family.

    “All places of worship will remain open, but physical distance must be respected. Special services are forbidden,” Stevens said.

    Some Easter services, however, will be televised, and the annual ‘Urbi et Orbi’ papal address from Rome will also be broadcast live on television.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times