Belgian shops should reopen ‘as soon as possible,’ minister says
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Belgian shops should reopen ‘as soon as possible,’ minister says

Credit: Belga

All stores in Belgium should be reopened “as soon as possible,” said Federal Minister of the Self-Employed, David Clarinval ahead of the Consultative Committee on Friday.

The sector federations’ proposal to the Consultative Committee – which will meet on Friday – to only receive customers by appointment in December, is not enough, Clarinval told RTBF.

According to the current measures, non-essential shops have to remain closed until at least 13 December, but Clarinval advocates reopening all shops “as soon as possible,” as the coronavirus figures are dropping.

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Additionally, shops in Belgium’s neighbouring countries are still open or will reopen again soon, he said.

“We are not an island, Belgians go shopping abroad,” said Clarinval, adding that if the shops do not reopen soon, there will be very serious economic and psychological problems for the self-employed.

In addition to the shops, professions requiring close contact with the clients, such as hairdressers and beauticians, should also be allowed to get back to work as soon as possible.

While he stated earlier this week that the reopening of shops and the hospitality industry should be “seriously” considered on Friday, he stated on Wednesday that the situation in bars and restaurants is still different from in shops.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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