Coronavirus: What’s left to do this weekend?

Coronavirus: What’s left to do this weekend?
Credit: Jules Johnston/The Brussels Times

As the government announced stricter, “far-reaching measures” to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) on Tuesday, here’s a list of what is and isn’t allowed this weekend.

The rule of thumb, stressed by the governments, the FPS Public Health, Sciensano and the National Crisis Centre is: stay at home as much as possible, and do not come into contact with others, unless it is “essential.” However, what is considered essential has aroused a lot of questions about what some measures mean in practice.

This is not an extensive list, but a resource to help you keep track of what you can’t do.

– Parks, recreation areas and nature reserves remain open, and people are encouraged to do physical activities in the open air. However, the government has asked to not go to the coast or the Ardennes.

– Food stores, supermarkets and pet food stores remain open, but only allow one client per 10m² and for a maximum of 30 minutes into the stores. 

– All bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs are closed, but many restaurants offer takeaway service, and Deliveroo recently announced it would help as much as possible.

– Pharmacies remain open, but pharmacists ask that people only come in for urgent and necessary care, and have also requested that people contact them by telephone as much as possible. 

– Hairdressers remain open, but are limited to one client in the salon at a time, and are not happy about it.

– Gas stations remain open.

– All non-essential shops have to physically close their doors during the week as well, but many online shops remain open, and most delivery services are still running.

– Newspaper stores remain open, as they are considered essential, but have also asked the government to be allowed to close.

– Post offices remain open, but Bpost announced that it is temporarily suspending sending mail to outside the European Union.

– Most banks also remain open. However, ING announced that it is closing half of its branches on Friday, and only one visitor at a time will be allowed in the other branches.

– Libraries and cinemas are closed, until further notice.

– Museums have closed their doors, but many of them offer virtual tours.

– Public transport stations will remain open and public transport will keep running, but the service will be significantly reduced. Read more about it here.

– Night shops can remain open, but have to close at 10:00 PM.

– Snack bars and frites shops remain open, but only for take-away food.

– Markets, which were still allowed to continue as usual last weekend, are also closed.

– Gyms and swimming pools are closed.

– Taxi services will remain open, but the distance of 1.5 metres between driver and client has to be respected.

– Zoos are closed after Planckendael and ZOO Antwerp mistakenly opened last week Saturday.

– Theme parks remain closed.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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