Kayaking allowed from Monday, but renting one isn’t
Friday, 01 May 2020
Kayak renters will not resume their activity on Monday, announced Stéphane Marin, president of the Federation of Kayak Renters (FLK), on Friday in response to confusion over the matter.
At the end of the National Security Council of April 24, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced that outdoor sports activities – including kayaking – where the rules of social distancing could be respected could be restarted on 4 May.
This statement drew a raft of reactions on social media – and clarification from FLK on the specifics of the rule. “We are considered as a tourist attraction and not as sports equipment hire companies. Therefore, only those who have their own kayak are allowed,” Marin explained.
“We are very happy that the Prime Minister has thought about our sport, but we are considered as a tourist attraction and as such, we will not be able to reopen,” Marin added. “And I think this was very well understood by the general public. Our renters have not been inundated with calls during the week”.
For FLK, several obstacles still have to be overcome in the meantime before any form of rental service can restart, including the reopening of the Walloon rivers. “In addition, as we are not considered public transport either, our return buses would only be able to carry five passengers. Finally, we will have to set up a disinfection system for kayaks, paddles and life jackets.”