Belgium's parks and camping sites can reopen from Monday, following the lifting of a ministerial decree issued three months ago that had ordered them to remain closed.
This was announced by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, after the Consultative Committee on Friday agreed to implement a decision by the Council of State to suspend the ministerial decree, "under very strict conditions."
On Tuesday, the Council of State granted a petition by Recread, the organisation representing operators of Flemish camping sites and vacation parks, to be given the same conditions as hotels and non-collective vacation residences, which were allowed to remain open.
"Vacation parks and camping sites finally have a chance to emerge from the crisis,” Recread commented on Friday.
Not all sites will be able to reopen on Monday, according to the organisation, which also does not expect a huge influx of vacationers.
The Flemish tourism organisation, Toerisme Vlaanderen, said it was “full of hope for the future” following Friday’s decision. ”The Consultative Committee has finally given our tourism sector positive news,” CEO Peter De Wilde commented.
The director of Wallonia’s federation of camping sites, Christian Alard, said he was relieved by the decision.
“We’re now going to be able to marshall all our forces and structure ourselves to the fullest to kickstart the season in April and everyone will benefit,” Alard noted. “We’re happy the politicians understand that the infrastructure is adapted to the standards.”
Center Parcs-De Vossemeren, Les Ardennes park, Park De Haan, and Sunpark Oostduinkerke aan Zee will take in their first vacationers on 12 February. Center Parcs Erperheide and Sunparks Kempense Meren will open sometime later.
"We’re delighted to be able to welcome families, once again, for well-deserved Spring holidays,” said the director of Center Parcs and Sunparks Belgique, Erwin Dezeure.
He recalled that his group has teamed up with the KIWA certification body to carry out periodic assessments of compliance with health measures.
The Brussels Times