Belgian surrealism: Explaining regional measures once again  
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Belgian surrealism: Explaining regional measures once again  

Thursday, 29 October 2020
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In the less than 2 weeks since Belgium implemented strict new coronavirus fighting measures, a lot has certainly changed.

Across the country, the major rule to still be in effect is the complete closure of the restaurant and bar sector. This blanket closure, set to be reviewed on Friday, was announced alongside a curfew for the whole country on 16 October – which 2 out of 3 regions have now changed.

Less than a week after the first rules went into effect, the Consultative Committee gathered once again, this time announcing stricter measures for the sport, culture and events sector, as well as for higher education and youth movements, on 23 October.

By that evening, Wallonia had announced new and improved measures to go into force. On Saturday, Brussels followed suit, announcing new measures similar to Wallonia and Belgium, but also slightly different.

On Sunday, Flanders said it was not going to change anything. On Monday it faced criticism and by Tuesday night new measures were announced, which would go into effect on Friday.

By Wednesday, Flanders’ new rules were happening that night at midnight. By midnight, it turned into updated rules for the whole country.

So here are the rules per region – both national and regional – helping you keep track of what is relevant where you are.

A lot of it is the same across the country, but certainly not all. Here are the rules you have to follow as of 29 October.

 First Announced: 24 October
Went into effect: 26 October
Timeframe:
Until 19 November


Autumn break: Extended
Bars, cafes and restaurants: Takeaway possible until 10:00 PM
Cuddle contacts:  Limited to a maximum of 1 person.
Curfew: 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM
Cultural venues: Museums, galleries, theatres and cinemas are closed.
Education: Kindergartens and primary schools remain open. Francophone secondary schools have switched to distance learning until the autumn holidays start, Dutch-speaking ones stay open, but distance learning is possible in the second and third grades. Universities and university colleges have switched to distance learning.
Gatherings:

Private: Limited to the same 4 people, changing every 2 weeks
Public: Max 4 people, but no time frame

Gambling venues: Betting shops, casinos and arcades closed.
Hotels and other forms of accommodation: The restaurant can be open, but only for the guests staying there.
Markets: Remain open, but the consumption of drinks and food is forbidden. Christmas markets & second-hand markets are forbidden.
Marriages, funerals, cremations, services: Can go ahead, with a maximum of 40 people.
Mask: Wear one at all times.
Night shops: Must close at 10:00 PM, cannot sell alcohol after 8:00 PM
Outdoor playgrounds, open-air museums, the outdoor parts of zoos and nature parks, libraries, religious buildings: Can stay open.
School trips: Cancelled, including those that take place outdoors.
Shopping: All shops must close no later than 8:00 PM. Shopping alone required, unless with a minor under the age of 12, or if accompanying a person who requires assistance.
Sporting competitions:

Amateur: Suspended, but children under 12 may take part in training, if outdoors, and can be accompanied by one adult.
Professional: Professional matches can be played behind closed doors, without an audience.

Sporting venues: All facilities (including gyms, tennis courts and swimming pools) are closed.
Takeaway: Takeaway restaurants can stay open until 10:00 PM.
Teleworking: Obligatory wherever possible – remains the “norm.”
Youth activities: For children under 12 years old, activities and camps are allowed, without overnight stays. Supervisors have to wear a face mask. Maximum 50 people.

Announced: 27 October
Went into effect: 29 October
Timeframe:
Until 19 November


Autumn break: Extended
Bars, cafes and restaurants: Takeaway possible until 10:00 PM
Cuddle contacts: Limited to a maximum of 1 person
Curfew: Midnight – 5:00 AM
Cultural venues: Museums, galleries, theatres and cinemas are closed.
Education: Kindergartens and primary schools remain open. Secondary schools also remain open, but distance learning is possible in the second and third grades. Universities and university colleges have switched to distance learning, except for first years, who can still go to class in a limited capacity.
Gambling venues: Betting shops, casinos and arcades closed.
Gatherings:

Private: Limited to the same 4 people, changing every 2 weeks
Public: Max 4 people, but no time frame

Hotels and other forms of accommodation: The restaurant can be open, but only for the guests staying there.
Markets: Remain open, but the consumption of drinks and food is forbidden. Christmas markets & second-hand markets are forbidden.
Marriages, funerals, cremations, services: Can go ahead, with a maximum of 40 people.
Mask: Wear one on public transport, in busy places, and on streets where local authorities made it mandatory.
Night shops: Must close at 10:00 PM, cannot sell alcohol after 8:00 PM.
Outdoor playgrounds, open-air museums, the outdoor parts of zoos and nature parks, libraries, religious buildings: Can stay open
Residential care centres: Residents are allowed to have one close contact (‘cuddle contact’), and one other contact. These can be different people every 2 weeks. Informal caregivers can stay in a residential care centre overnight.
School trips: Cancelled, including those that take place outdoors.
Shopping: All shops must close no later than 8:00 PM. Shopping can only be done individually, or with a maximum of one other person, for a maximum of 30 minutes per store.
Sporting competitions:

Amateur: Suspended, but children under 12 may take part in games and training, if outdoors, and can be accompanied by one adult.
Professional: Professional sports matches can be played behind closed doors, without an audience.

Sporting venues: All facilities (including gyms, tennis courts and swimming pools) are closed.
Takeaway: Takeaway restaurants can stay open until 10:00 PM.
Teleworking: obligatory wherever possible – remains the “norm.”
Youth activities: For children under 12 years old, activities and camps are allowed, without overnight stays. Supervisors have to wear a face mask. Maximum 50 people.

Announced: 23 October
Went into effect: 24 October
Timeframe:
Until 19 November


Autumn break: Extended
Bars, cafes and restaurants: Takeaway possible until 10:00 PM
Curfew: 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM
Cultural venues: Museums, galleries, theatres and cinemas are closed.
Education: Kindergartens and primary schools remain open. Secondary schools have switched to distance learning until the autumn holidays start. Universities and university colleges have switched to distance learning, except for first years, who can still go to class in a limited capacity.
Gambling venues: Betting shops, casinos and arcades closed.
Gatherings:

Private: Limited to the same 4 people, changing every 2 weeks
Public: Max 4 people, but no time frame

Hotels and other forms of accommodation: The restaurant can be open, but only for the guests staying there.
Markets:
Remain open, but the consumption of drinks and food is forbidden. Christmas markets & second-hand markets are forbidden.
Marriages, funerals, cremations, services: 
Can go ahead, with a maximum of 40 people.
Mask:
Wear one on public transport, in busy places, and on streets where local authorities made it mandatory.
Night shops:
Must close at 10:00 PM, cannot sell alcohol after 8:00 PM.
Outdoor playgrounds, open-air museums, the outdoor parts of zoos and nature parks, libraries, religious buildings:
Can stay open
Residential care centres: Only one visitor will be allowed, and a mask must be worn at all times. This person can change every 15 days, and must be organised in a dedicated space, not a room. Exceptions can only be made in end of life situations.
School trips: Cancelled, including those that take place outdoors
Shopping: All shops must close no later than 8:00 PM. Shopping can only be done individually, or with a maximum of one other person, for a maximum of 30 minutes per store.
Sporting competitions:

Amateur: Suspended, but children under 12 may take part in games and training, if outdoors, and can be accompanied by one adult.
Professional: Professional sports matches can be played behind closed doors, without an audience.

Sporting venues: All facilities (including gyms, tennis courts and swimming pools) are closed.
Takeaway: Takeaway restaurants can stay open until 10:00 PM.
Teleworking: Obligatory wherever possible, and the authorities have asked for “strict enforcement.”

Jules Johnston & Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times