Several museums in Brussels have said they are ready to welcome visitors again from Tuesday after they were granted permission to reopen ahead of Christmas.
In an unexpected call on Friday, Belgium’s Consultative Committee gave museums the go-ahead to open back up after a month-long closure.
While some sector representatives in Flanders said that the decision caught them off-guard and that they would no be ready to open in such short notice, over a dozen in Brussels said they would be ready in time, with the rest announcing they would be ready at later dates throughout December.
Some of the most popular sites in the Belgian capital, including the Magritte Museum, BOZAR, the Museum of Natural Sciences or the Wiels centre for contemporary arts will therefore reopen from 1 December.
Others, including the popular visual arts MIMA museum or crowd-pleasers such the Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) or Choco-Story will open between 2 and 19 December at the latest.
Authorities in Brussels said all museums would have to follow and enforce strict sanitary measures, such as the use of face masks at all times, respect for social bubbles and social-distancing and provide hand sanitising products.
All visits to museums will have to be booked beforehand online, where information on opening dates for specific museums and other access conditions will also be posted.
In Flanders, several museums said they would need more time before being able to reopen, with a representative of the In Flanders Fields war museum in Ypres saying that most centres had asked the government for a reopening by 15, not 1 December.