Belgium's Covid Christmas rules: Only one guest can use the toilet

Belgium's Covid Christmas rules: Only one guest can use the toilet
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When inviting some guests to celebrate Christmas in the garden, only one of them is allowed to enter the house to use the toilet, according to Belgium's Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

Inviting people to celebrate in the garden is allowed, if the group is not bigger than four people, and the distance and hygiene rules are respected. Additionally, direct access to the garden is required, she said, adding that guests are not allowed if they have to pass through the house.

The only person who is allowed inside is one household's member's chosen close contact, with who respecting the distance or hygiene measures is not necessary. The others are not allowed to grab a drink or something to eat, or even to use the bathroom.

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"So if you really have to go to the toilet, there will be nothing else to do but return home," Verlinden's spokesperson told Het Nieuwsblad.

"In itself, it does not hurt much if someone wearing a face mask walks from the front door through the house to the garden," virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht added.

However, that is not as self-evident as it seems, he said. "There is a good chance you will stop inside to have a chat. And as soon as you step inside, you run a much greater risk of getting infected, because the air circulation is not the same as outside."

Verlinden told Het Laatste Nieuws she understood that a lot of questions were rising about the holidays, but stressed that nothing has changed and that she has not said anything new.

"The measure of being able to get together with four people outdoors, and everything that entails, has been in place for some time now," she said.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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