The HoReCa sector in Liège province has been told it can reopen terraces on 1 May, regardless of if the Consultative Committee decides to postpone the reopening date to later in the year.
This means - in theory - that bars, restaurants and hotels in the province could start serving customers again due to the decision by the governor of Liège and a number of mayors from the province, De Morgen reports.
"If you open the terraces on 1 May, know that I will not oppose it," said Governor Hervé Jamar. The decision was made in an effort to cut down on illegal parties in the area, by giving people places to go, according to RTL.
While businesses that choose to reopen will reportedly not face any repercussions from the province, it currently remains unclear what the legal ramifications are of a local authority openly disobeying a federal measure.
This, in turn, will not become clear unless the 1 May date is officially postponed countrywide - as currently, the rules stay the same.
Don't Move Too Fast
This news comes as pressure grows to postpone the plan to reopen the sector on 1 May, which was the date put in place in March, providing figures were at a sufficiently low level.
- Reopen shops, hospitality industry and contact professions, union urges
- Self-employed: Reopen on 1 May and not a day later
- Belgium's corona tsar: Postpone re-opening horeca until after May 1
- 'Easter pause' threatens hospitality sector reopening plans
“We had better not move too fast,” corona commissioner Pedro Facon suggested this weekend in the newspaper De Tijd. Facon has advised a delay in easing measures, specifically due to the wide number of sectors looking to 1 May as a potential restart.
Contact professions currently remain closed, the culture and events sectors are hoping for a lifeline, and people in general hope for some more flexibility in social contacts.
“Reopening the catering industry as well as relaxing the rules for other indoor activities is too much of a good thing. It would be better to split them up,” Facon added.
Belgium's Consultative Committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing situation in the country, but no official agenda has been released as of yet.
The Brussels Times