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    Lockdown: quiet reopening for Brussels shops

    Credit: Belga

    The reopening of shops in Brussels took place quietly on Monday morning, according to Belga News Agency.

    Shops were allowed to reopen as of Monday as Belgium phases out of its lockdown. Queues formed in front of some shops in Rue Neuve, Brussels’ main shopping street, but no more than was expected.

    Brussels’ authorities had installed barriers to divide the street into two traffic directions and avoid crossings. The ground was also marked to indicate the necessary distance to respect when queuing in front of stores.

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    Apart from queues for certain brands including Galeria Inno, Primark and Vanden Borre (in the ‘City 2’ shopping mall), the Rue Neuve was not overcrowded this Monday morning. Other shopping streets, such as Rue Dansaert, Rue de Flandre and Boulevard Anspach, also remained relatively quiet.

    “The shopkeepers are happy to be able to reopen, but of course we are waiting to see how crowded it will be,” said Economic Affairs alderman Fabian Maingain, adding that everyone is in a wait-and-see mode. “We were expecting a fairly calm first day, except perhaps for a few large retailers who are attracting a wider audience,” he said. “Many shops are still closed because Monday is their closing day and others wanted to wait and see how the restart went.”

    The Brussels Times