Ice skating not allowed in Flanders because of coronavirus rules
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Ice skating not allowed in Flanders because of coronavirus rules

Credit: Belga

Ice skating on lakes or ponds – if the ice is thick enough – that are owned or managed by the Flemish Nature and Forest Agency is forbidden, as it would bring together too many people, violating the coronavirus rules.

Under normal circumstances, the mayors of the municipalities involved are the ones who decide whether the ice is safe enough on potential ice skating ponds, in consultation with Nature and Forst, and the fire service.

“The coronavirus is still here, and it is very difficult to avoid gatherings in the places where skating is allowed,” Frank Saey of the Agency said. “It is impossible to enforce. The limitations of the measures give us too few alternatives to allow skating this year.”

However, local authorities could still decide to open up certain ice skating locations themselves, but they will then be the ones responsible for the enforcement of the coronavirus measures, according to Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir.

According to the cabinet of Interion Minister Annelies Verlinden, ice skating falls into the category of outdoors sports, meaning that it is allowed under the current Covid-19 rules, as long as social distancing can be respected.

Additionally, the ban on gatherings is still in force, meaning a maximum of four people can skate together.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times