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Belgium in Brief: Can Bigger Terraces Last?

Credit: Canva

If there’s one significant summer change in the city of Brussels – and beyond – it’s the massive growth of terraces in places where there was previously no space.

These hardy cobbled together structures occupy the parking spaces, sidewalks and spaces of the country in a way never thought possible as people spread out onto the street.

But can they last?

The latest changes to the coronavirus measures have made it so people can hang out inside a bar, but with weather like this, who would want to?

From a simple economics point, the more extensive terraces are a boon for the bar. More seats in the sun/breeze will always be popular on a good day, and simply put, more seats means more customers.

Under the current rules, this bigger potential crop is slowed by regulations on how many can sit at tables, but that won’t always be the case.

So, in the times after this, when the majority of the rules are an unpleasant memory we try to forget.

Should the terraces last? Or is it another ad-hoc measure with a short term lifespan?

I love them, but I can also see the pitfalls in occupying space once reserved for pedestrians. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone, and if it doesn’t work for everyone, can it last?

So what do you think? Let @johnstonjules know.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Face masks still required in these Brussels’ streets

While the general obligation to wear a face mask in the Brussels-Capital Region no longer applies from today, masks will remain mandatory in generally crowded areas indicated by the 19 commune’s mayors. Read more.

2. Will terraces shrink again after the pandemic?

Jules Johnston/ The Brussels Times

When it was decided restaurants and bars could reopen at the start of May, but only their outdoor areas, many authorities across Belgium gave businesses the chance to expand their terrace area to allow more customers at once in a safe way and to make up for the loss of indoor seating.

But how long will this generosity last?

3. How to watch the solar eclipse in Belgium today

On Thursday, between 11:17 AM and 1:25 PM, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across the whole of Belgium, and the day’s clear and sunny weather has created the perfect conditions to see it. Read more.

4. Travelling at 1,000 km/h: Flanders analysing use of ‘hyperloop’

Credit: Hardt Hyperloop

Flanders is analysing what role it could play in the rollout of the “hyperloop” network, a new mode of transport previously invested in by Elon Musk that allows goods and people to travel in pods through tubes at speeds of up to 1,000 km/h. Read more.

5. Holidaymakers can still get second shot during ‘catch-up’ in late August

People who missed their second vaccination because of holiday plans, for example, during the summer will get a catch-up opportunity from the end of August, according to the Flemish Care and Health Agency. Read more.

6. All shops will have to offer electronic payment options by law

All shops in Belgium will be obliged to offer at least one electronic payment method to their customers, as part of an action plan to fight fraud, initiated by federal Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem. Read more.

7. Up to 27 °C expected in the coming days

Belgium’s temperatures will reach up to 27 °C in the next few days, the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) announced on Thursday. Read more.

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