Belgium in Brief: Open Terraces For Minimal Easter Mischief?
Monday, 15 March 2021
Picture this. It’s sunny, and you’re sitting outside with a few friends having a drink.
Then someone coughs, but the entire square doesn’t go as dead quiet as a saloon in an old Western movie when the hero walks in.
According to some, that world (well, maybe minus the Clint Eastwood-esque reactions) could be the one we live in soon – potentially in the coming weeks.
This weekend, mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever threw his weight behind a plan to allow businesses to serve outdoors on their terraces by the Easter Holidays, as he believes it could prevent people from gathering in parks and cities during the break.
Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon made the same point during a VTM News broadcast on Sunday, saying “by putting those people (who gather in the parks) on the terraces of the catering industry, the manager of the restaurant will make sure that it is done in accordance with the measures.”
But, of course, not everyone is so happy with the idea.
Both Mohamed Ridouani, the Leuven mayor, and Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent, said reopening terraces could be a difficult issue, adding that the evolution of the virus must be considered to avoid the third wave.
Virologist Steven Van Gucht (earlier this month) was even more direct – making it very clear that, even though people would be sitting outdoors, the risk of transmitting the virus still exists.
“When talking with a person around the same table for maybe an hour, there is still a very real chance that you will transmit the virus,” he said.
So what do you think? Do we need somewhere to go? Is a terrace that place? How do you think the rules are going so far ( like larger outdoor bubbles?)
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