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Belgium in Brief: Can Bigger Terraces Last?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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