Share article:
Share article:

Overview: where face masks remain mandatory in Belgium

Credit: Jules Johnston/The Brussels Times

Belgium’s federal obligation to wear a face mask is being lifted from today, but as not all regions are fully applying that relaxation, the rules in Flanders, the Brussels-Capital Region and Wallonia will differ.

The Consultative Committee decided on 17 September to create a “federal base” for measures that apply to the entire country. On top of those, regional governments can still add stricter rules if the situation calls for them.

This means that for people over 12 years old in all of Belgium, wearing a face mask will only remain mandatory in these circumstances:

–  on public transport, in stations and in airports,
–  in healthcare facilities (such as hospitals and residential care centres),
–  in the medical (like doctors) and non-medical contact professions (such as hairdressers and tattoo artists),
–  at events, cultural and other performances, sports competitions and training sessions, and congresses with more than 500 people indoors and 750 people outdoors, without Covid Safe Ticket (CST).

Discos, dance halls and nightclubs can also reopen, provided that the air quality and ventilation are ensured and the CST is required – which in practice means that people will not have to wear face masks either.

Related News:

 

Flanders is following these rules, and is not adding any stricter measures to this “federal base” that was agreed on, says Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.

In practice, this means that masks will no longer be required in the hospitality sector or shops in Flanders, both for clients and staff.

The Brussels-Capital Region, however, will not apply these relaxations, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort said.

“Face masks will remain compulsory in shops and the hospitality industry and on the work floor,” he announced in mid-September, adding that the region’s vaccination rate is too low (just over 50% of adults are fully vaccinated) for any kind of relaxations.

Additionally, Dutch-speaking colleges and universities in Brussels are still applying a general obligation to wear a mask, contrary to the rules in Flanders. This obligation does not apply to Francophone colleges and universities in Brussels, just like it no longer applies in Wallonia.

While it initially seemed like Wallonia would follow Flanders, a press release from Minister-President Elio Di Rupo on Thursday announced that the obligation to wear a mask “will also be maintained in the sectors where it already was applicable in the region, for the time being.”

This means that, in addition to the places established in the federal base, wearing a mask remains mandatory at work, in conference rooms, auditoriums, places of worship, courthouses, libraries, during events, in busy places (such as shopping streets), annual markets and at fairs.

Update: This article was updated with the latest information available on 1 October.

Latest news

New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Nightlife testing centre opens in central Brussels on Friday
A new coronavirus testing centre set up by the Brussels By Night Federation will open on Place Poelaert in Brussels on Friday, aiming to administer ...
Covid Safe Ticket targeted by legal action
It is less than a week that the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been required to participate in many social activities such as entering bars or ...