Belgian Mayors agree to phased reopening of beaches, despite grievances

Belgian Mayors agree to phased reopening of beaches, despite grievances
Credit: Belga

The mayors of Belgium's coastal municipalities will follow the guidelines of the National Security Council for reopening the beaches, despite some earlier grievances.

The decision follows some uncertainty about whether the mayors would follow the directive to keep people with a second residence at the coast out of their municipalities, as several angry mayors had already announced that they would do nothing to stop them.

However, following a meeting with the coastal mayors, West Flanders' governor Carl Decaluwé reported that the municipalities will stick to a phased approach for the relaunch of coastal tourism.

"We will indeed follow the rules of the National Security Council, we are only asking for people to be allowed to come to the coast in phases, and not all at once," Decaluwé told De Standaard. This means that it is not yet clear when people with a second residence will be welcome again.

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After the second residences, the coastal mayors want to give the opportunity to hotels, B&B's, campsites and holiday apartments, and only then to day-tourists, which will only be welcome again when the restaurants and cafes are allowed to reopen, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

Additionally, a single uniform framework will be provided in which coastal municipalities can take measures tailored to their own needs, concerning traffic circulation for cars as well as people, a beach plan with a focus on access to the beach, supervised bathing areas from 27 June, and a circulation and terrace plan.

Each municipality will be allowed to implement these plans based on the number of visitors. "An important condition is that we can continuously map out the number of visitors. This is the only way we can intervene if necessary," said Decaluwé.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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