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    What going for a beer will look like from Saturday

    Credit: Belga/Dirk Waem

    Belgium’s National Security Council announced new measures to stop the further spread of the coronavirus, which will change what going to a restaurant or a cafe will look like from Saturday.

    As the coronavirus figures in the country continue to increase, during a press conference on Thursday, Wilmès announced several changes for people going out to eat or drink.

    Staff already had to wear a face mask, but clients will need to wear one as well from this weekend.

    However, they will only need to wear one when they are moving around. Once seated, the mask can come off, but while coming in, going outside or going to the bathroom, wearing a mask is mandatory, Wilmès said.

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    Additionally, having conversations between different tables, just walking around in an establishment or dancing and singing are not allowed, Wilmès stressed.

    Clients will also need to leave their names and contact details. This way, if someone who went to a cafe tests positive afterwards, the other clients can be notified and go into self-quarantine.

    According to Wilmès, clients’ personal data will be destroyed after 14 days, and will not be used for anything other than contact tracing. By Saturday, a standard form will be available on the website of the Federal Public Economy Service.

    Even though many people have called for an earlier closing hour of cafes and bars to prevent gatherings, such as in Brussels some time ago, the closing time remains unchanged at 1:00 AM.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times