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    Playgrounds reopen for children under 13

    © Belga

    Children under 13 will be allowed to play in public playgrounds again from Wednesday, after local authorities were given the green light to reopen them.

    The federal government has approved the reopening of all public playgrounds in Belgium but authorities at the regional and local level are still left to decide which playgrounds they will reopen.

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    Only children under the age of 12 will be allowed into the public areas and accompanying adults must keep the mandatory 1.5 metres of social distance between each other.

    In large public playgrounds, local authorities must ensure that no more than 20 children are allowed to play inside at the same time.

    Indoor playgrounds will not be allowed to reopen and outdoor playgrounds or play areas in natural parks or in places like museums or zoos can reopen but a staff member must be present to enforce the rules.

    In Antwerp, Mayor Bart De Wever said that all 230 public playgrounds in the city, regardless of size, would reopen from Wednesday.

    “If visitors notice that it is too busy on the playground, they better return at a different time,” an online statement signed De Wever reads. “Everyone is asked to limit their playing time so that others also have the opportunity to play.”

    The reopening of playgrounds comes as schools begin to reopen and as doctors call for a relaxation of restrictions for young children, arguing they may be detrimental to their development.

    As authorities raced to contain the coronavirus pandemic, public playgrounds in Belgium were some of the first areas to close from 16 March, days ahead of the nationwide shutdown.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times