Belgium will take the next step out of the lockdown from Monday 18 May, the National Security Council decided on Wednesday.
Phase 2 of the exit plan will enter into force from Monday, meaning a lot of measures will be relaxed, but not all. This is what will change.
Children will go back to school from Monday, but some pilot projects will already start on Friday. In April, the National Security Council decided that in primary schools, the first, second and last grades could go back to school. For secondary schools, the last grades will also restart.
Hairdressers are allowed to receive clients again, but only by appointment. The hairdressers, as well as the clients, have to wear face masks or mouth-nose protection. The social distance measures have to be respected as much as possible, especially between clients. Others, like tattoo artists and beauty centres, can also reopen their doors.
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People will be able to visit museums and other cultural attractions, such as historical buildings, again, but only if the institution sets up a ticket system online and takes appropriate measures regarding social distancing. Going to the zoo or a recreation park will also be allowed again, if they have an online ticket system.
At weddings and funerals, up to 30 people will be allowed to attend the ceremony, if a safe social distance can be guaranteed. Organising a reception of a party afterwards is still not allowed.
Smaller markets in the open air, up to a maximum of 50 stalls, can take place again, with approval of the municipality in which it takes place. A circulation plan has to be drawn up, and vendors and other staff have to wear masks. Customers are strongly advised to do the same.
Sports clubs can start training again, but only in the open air. A coach has to be present and a maximum of 20 people can take part. Cafeterias remain closed.
Maïthé Chini & Ava Strowel
The Brussels Times