“Traders and local authorities are working hard to make this happen in complete safety, but everyone has to help as much as they can,” he said, adding that shopping online remains the safest option.
“We understand that everyone feels the need to go out and do something, but we cannot yet afford to troop together in shopping streets,” Stevens said.
If online shopping is not an option, Belgians are urged not to wait until the very last moment to do their shopping in person. “Try to go at quiet moments, if it is absolutely necessary that you go in person,” he said.
Additionally, Stevens urged each individual shopper to always respect the necessary social distance and wear a mask, both inside and outside the shops. “If it is too busy, come back later,” he said, adding that each customer may only be present in a shop for a maximum of 30 minutes.
“If we really want to start 2021 on a hopeful note, we must not give the virus a chance to strike back,” Stevens said. “We are on the right track, but above all, we must not lose patience now.”