Belgian butchers know your 30 person order is probably illegal

Belgian butchers know your 30 person order is probably illegal
Credit: Belga

Your order with the butcher this festive season could betray any intention you have of breaking the current coronavirus measures, according to testimony from within the industry.

After one anonymous butcher told VRT's "De inspecteur" that he was seeing people ordering food for groups of "20 to 30 people", further research by the station has shown this isn't an isolated incident.

"We warn the customers every time that they must take account of COVID-19 and the measures, and that we are not liable if they invite more people than they are allowed to," Ivan Claeys, chairman of the National Association of butchers and caterers told Radio 2. "We also hear those stories and I think that is the case all over Belgium."

Any further action from the butcher to comment on the portion size just risks the person going elsewhere instead, Claeys explained. "At the supermarket checkout, nobody will say: 'Look sir, there are only two of you, and you have turkey meat for 8 people'"

It is also not always fair to say that larger orders mean larger groups, "after all, there are large families or people who give some of their food to charities. Or grandparents who used to organise the Christmas party, but this year they are going to distribute that large portion and drop it off at children and grandchildren."

The Rules

According to current rules, Belgium can only celebrate Christmas and New Year with our own family, plus a maximum of one extra person. A group can extend, at the very maximum, if you opt to see people in your garden.

The group cannot be larger than four people in total, not counting children younger than 12 years old. This doesn't matter where the group meets.

Additionally, you can only invite people to your garden if you have direct access to the garden, and your guests do not have to pass through your home.

Those people also cannot use your toilet.

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