Ministerial Decree clarifies Belgium's new coronavirus rules

Ministerial Decree clarifies Belgium's new coronavirus rules
Credit: Belga

Belgium's strict new coronavirus measures have been published as a Ministerial Decree in the Belgian Official Journal on Sunday evening before they took effect on Monday, resolving some uncertainties for several businesses.

The Crisis Centre received a lot of questions about the changing measures over the weekend, but clarified several points now that the legal basis of the new rules has been published.

Bars and restaurants - including coffee bars - have to close their doors for a month from today, except for the offer and delivery of takeaway meals and non-alcoholic drinks until 10:00 PM.

"If possible, I would even call on everyone to take this opportunity to support the affected sector," Yves Stevens of the National Crisis Centre said during a press conference on Monday.

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Coffee bars can therefore also stay open for takeaway coffee, if they comply with the safety regulations. During the lockdown in March, there was some confusion regarding coffee bars, mainly because the federal measures were not entirely clear.

Additionally, hotels are allowed to stay open. "Restaurants in hotels can also remain open, but only for the guests staying at the hotel," Stevens clarified.

While party and event halls also have to close for the coming month, an exception will be made for gatherings after funerals. Under strict conditions, gathering in such a hall after a funeral or a cremation is still possible.

Lastly, the sale of alcohol is banned after 8:00 PM, including in shops that can stay open until 9:00 PM, Stevens stressed. "The store can stay open, but alcohol can no longer be sold after that time," he added.

Additionally, the Crisis Centre is updating the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on its website. "People with additional questions can also see if they can find their answer there," Stevens said.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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