Belgium allows shopping with two for ‘important’ purchases
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Belgium allows shopping with two for ‘important’ purchases

Credit: Belga

While the rules say that Belgians have to go shopping alone now that the stores have reopened, two people are allowed to shop together “in highly exceptional circumstances,” according to the Crisis Centre.

Going shopping with two people is only allowed for “large or important purchases where a thorough discussion is necessary in view of the impact on the household or the home,” according to the coronavirus FAQ.

The extra person has to be a member of the same household, or the chosen close contact for people living alone. Additionally, the appointment can also take longer than half an hour.

There is no official list of purchases that qualify for the exception, “as it is different for everyone personally,” according to Federal Public Economy Service spokesperson Chantal De Pauw.

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The reasoning is that it should concern a purchase involving a significant amount of money, such as a kitchen, new bathroom or family car, where partners often want to discuss and weigh their options.

Additionally, the exception only applies in companies or associations working “exclusively” by appointment, the Federal Public Economy Service stressed.

Making an appointment for two people in a furniture chain to decide on the purchase of a new sofa in the showroom, for example, is not possible, unless the store is closed to the public.

Additionally, a shop that only works by appointment on certain days and not on others, does not meet the condition of working “exclusively” by appointment.

In all other cases, the rules that were announced by the Consultative Committee still apply. People have to shop alone, unless they are accompanying a minor or someone who needs help, and can only spend 30 minutes in a store.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times