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Cheat Sheet: What actually changes from today?

Monday 8 March is the first day of Belgium’s latest ambitious deconfinement plan, as the country starts easing measures bit by bit.

As with any changes, these measures were first announced on Friday night by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, only to be clarified over the weekend after politicians and citizens picked the plan apart.

So, here’s where the rules stand as of today:

Outdoor Gatherings:

  • Now allowed with up to 10 people, with social distancing and (preferably) masks.
  • Gatherings in gardens are also allowed, and you can go through someone’s house to get to them – no word on toilets yet.
  • Not everyone is happy with the change – “Sitting down elbow to elbow for a meal is not yet possible,” Marc Van Ranst said on Friday on the VTM television channel. “Once again, for open-air activities, people will need to keep their distance and wear face masks.”

Funerals

  • Can happen with up to 50 people (1 person per square metre).

Kids Clubs

  • Organised activities will be possible for children under 13 years old for up to 25 children outdoors, or maximum 10 children indoors.

Private saunas

  • Can reopen, but only for groups living in the same household.
    This does not apply to big spas.

Photographers

  • Can receive clients to their studios (not to their homes)
  • A maximum of 1 client per 10 m2 is allowed.

Food trucks

  • Food truck can once again circulate, rather than being fixed in 1 spot.
  • “Until now, these entrepreneurs, often selling ice cream or waffles placed themselves in city centres, drawing large crowds and which was against the spirit to curb the spread of coronavirus,” Clarinval said.

Hairdressers

  • Home hairdressers & professional hairdressing schools can reopen.

The next Consultative Committee will be on 26 March, at which point measures – including the travel ban – can be adjusted if necessary. For the full timeline – click here. 

Jules Johnston 
The Brussels Times