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    Dancing at weddings allowed, but not with everyone

    Credit: Belga

    Dancing at a wedding reception is allowed again, but only with people from your own social “bubble,” according to the Crisis Centre.

    The rule states that “the distance of 1.5 meters between guests must be respected, unless they are part of the same social bubble (being the 15 people you are allowed to see per week) or live under the same roof.”

    Initially, there was talk of organising receptions in such a manner that guests had to stay seated at their table, which would seat 10 people, like at a cafe or restaurant.

    Dancing was not allowed, except for the bride and the groom, who were allowed to perform the first dance.

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    The wedding planning industry is banking on the guests’ sense of responsibility. “In order to ensure that the party goes off safely, we advise dividing the dance floor into zones for 15 guests, 1.5 metres between [the zones],” said Cynthia De Clercq, from the federation of wedding service providers HL Belgium.

    Another rule to be respected is the end of the wedding evening at 1 am at the latest.

    From 1 July, up to 50 people were allowed at weddings in reception halls again. From August, this could be expanded to 100 people, with the condition that the reception takes place in an ‘official’ hall. For parties in your own garden, for example, the social bubble of 15 people remains the rule.

    The party has to end at 1:00 AM.

    Checks will be possible in theory, reports Het Laatste Nieuws, but authorities stated it would be “difficult” to check, and are counting on people’s common sense.

    However, experts are not in favour of this relaxation. Professor Erika Vlieghe, chair of the Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy (GEES), told VRT that this was not discussed.

    “This opens the door to old-style weddings and that is dangerous now,” Vlieghe said. “Our advice was clear not to do this. We did not have this in mind when we allowed an opening to make parties possible,” she added.

    Dancing people at weddings get closer together, breathe faster, shout to rise above the music and sing along. “It is not without reason that we have so many rules in the culture sector to make it safe. Now, in the private sphere, we would allow all that to happen? I don’t understand,” Vlieghe said.

    “If one person is infected without knowing it, this can turn into a ‘superspreading’ event. If you want to get the epidemic going again quickly, this is what you should do,” she added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times