Weddings, outings and telecom shops: Belgium’s lockdown measures updated
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    Weddings, outings and telecom shops: Belgium’s lockdown measures updated

    From funerals and weddings to store openings and family outings, Belgium has updated its guidelines on the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Credit: Stock image/© Belga

    Belgium has issued an update on the nationwide lockdown measures to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic including clarifications to family events and outings.

    Published in the Official Journal of Belgium following a meeting of the National Security Council on 3 April, the update aimed to clarify and update the impact of social distancing measures on “social community” activities, according to an official statement.

    Telecom shops

    Telecom and medical device shops were added to the list of businesses that can open, with the update allowing them to receive one customer at a time with an appointment and “only for emergencies,” with the exception of shops that only sell telecom accessories.

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    Funerals and weddings

    The update on Friday clarified the meaning of “inner family circle” in the context of funeral ceremonies as well as weddings.

    A maximum of 15 people are allowed to attend a funeral ceremony and a distance of at least 1.5 metres must be kept between them.

    Wedding ceremonies, both civil and religious, can also continue to take place but only in the presence of a couple’s witnesses and of the officiating minister or civil servant.

    Family outings

    Families or people living within the same household must not observe the social distancing guidelines when going outdoors.

    The social distancing guidelines must, however, be observed in outings with someone external to the household, including physical exercise, and that person must “always be the same.”

    Opening-hour limits lifted on some food shops

    While night shops are still required to close at 10 PM, the update lifted restrictions dictating that other types of food shops must only be open between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM.

    School outings and in-school daycare

    Single-day and multi-day school trips or outings will continue to be forbidden until at least 30 June.

    School staff will continue to be required to provide child care through the Easter holidays, with the measures saying that children who have been a part of a given group must “remain in that group and should not be allowed to mix with other children.”

    Schools must also preferably make sure that children continue to be looked after by the same staff member with whom they have been in contact in the previous weeks.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times