Belgian coastal Mayors propose phased reopening of beaches
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    Belgian coastal Mayors propose phased reopening of beaches

    Tourists will also be welcome again when the hospitality industry is allowed to start up, the mayors said. Credit: Belga

    The mayors of the coastal municipalities in Belgium have proposed a plan to allow people with a second residence and campers back from 18 May, and tenants from 8 June.

    The ten mayors discussed a plan for the summer with the provincial governor of the West-Flanders province, Carl Decaluwé, on Wednesday, reports the Belga news agency. The plan is part of the relaunch of Belgian coastal tourism, with an agreement reached for a phased start-up.

    “If the curve allows it, the mayors want to allow people with a second residence from 18 May,” Decaluwé said, adding that people on a camping trip should also be allowed from then. This decision is in line with the National Security Council’s announcement on Friday, which allows day trips within Belgium, including to second residences, from phase 2 of the exit plan, after consideration.

    From 8 June, people who rented an apartment could be allowed to go to the coast again, provided the figures of patients infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) continue to decrease.

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    Tourists will also be welcome again when the hospitality industry is allowed to start up, the mayors said. “We want to link the arrival of day-trippers to the reopening of cafes and restaurants,” Decaluwé told De Standaard. Earlier this month, several beach towns were considering rolling out “beach passes” to relieve their tourism-driven economies over the summer.

    A joint proposal by all mayors, which will outline a plan for the entire coastal region but rules for each municipality as well, is in the making, and all mayors have to submit their proposals before 11 May, according to Decaluwé.

    “On 11 May, we want to deliver the proposal to the National Security Council. In the end, they will decide,” Decaluwé stressed. “We do not want to be responsible for a second peak, health comes before everything,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times