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    How going to a cafe or restaurant will work

    Credit: Pexels

    On Friday, the Belgian hospitality sector has reached an agreement with the government and the Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy (GEES) on how the reopening will happen.

    There is no date for the reopening of the sector yet, and it will only be announced by the National Security Council, according to a spokesperson of Horeca Vlaanderen.

    However, a guide with safety measures that will apply in cafes and restaurants has been drawn up.

    All businesses will close their doors at midnight. “The later it gets, the harder it will be to stick to the social distancing rules,” Federal Minister for Work Nathalie Muylle told VRT. “Restaurants that could organise two shifts in a row have also been taken into account,” she added.

    In both cafes and restaurants, orders will be taken at the table. Going up to the bar to order something, or having your drink there will not be allowed.

    Tables will be placed 1.5 metres from each other, both inside and outside, to be able to respect the obligatory social distance as much as possible.

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    Making a reservation will be mandatory before going to a restaurant. For cafes, making a reservation is a possibility, but you could also leave the details of one person at the table with the staff, so you can be reached by contact tracers if an infection occurs.

    The National Security Council will still have to officially greenlight the guide, and will also likely announce a date for the restart of the hospitality industry on Wednesday. 8 June, when Phase 3 is set to start if the curve permits it, has been eyed as a possible date before.

    “And this is a very nice guide that the catering industry can now start working with in order to be able to open everything from 8 June,” said Muylle.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times